The Girl of Ink and Stars
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
UK PUBLISHER: Chicken House
Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.
When her closest friend disappears into the island’s forgotten territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographers daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.
But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland — and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from it’s sleep. Soon, following the map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.
The Girl of Ink and Stars is a sweet, middle-grade adventure that has the power to charm all its readers. Wrapped in a pretty cover, inside of which are beautiful pages and pretty script, this a lovely book to add to any pre-teens collection.
Isabella loves stories detailing the myths and legends of her island home. Yet when the governors daughter — her best friend, Lupe — goes missing, Isabella will do anything to see Lupe brought home safely. Even venture into the Island’s forgotten territories.
But the closer Isabella gets to the heart of the island, the more she realises that the myths and legends about it were true. Now, after a thousand years of slumber — a fire demon has awoken with plans to lay claim to the island once more… and Isabella may be the only one who can stop it…
One of my favourite things about this book was the stories within a story element. Tales of the Island’s history, recaps of peoples adventures, as well as backstory on other characters and artefacts, all made it into this book. That alone really helped flesh out the world and bring Isabella’s story to life.
Isabella herself was a feisty heroine although I didn't always understand her decisions. Still I admired her bravery and liked how she was prepared to risk everything to save her friend. Although I did feel the ending was a little… weird, given what the story itself was about.
Also with so much happening in the last chapters, my mind struggled to wrap around the new ideas and I felt some scenes were just thrown in for the sake of raising the action. Worth mentioning too is that although the book is very fast paced, there is no subplots or intrigues. Each event follows the next in a predictable way that I think would be enjoyed more by younger readers.
All in all though this was still a cute read and a nice book to while away an afternoon with. Also both the cover and interior pages are beautiful. 3 stars!