The City of Stardust

Redhook: Orbit. Jan. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780316561488. $29. FANTASY
DEBUT Everyone knows the Everly descendants are cursed: in each generation, a family member with special talents and a golden aura is taken and never seen again. Violet Everly is 12 the first time she meets Penelope, a cruel, ageless woman who wishes to steal her away, although Penelope really wants Marianne, Violet’s adventurous, determined mother who vanished years ago in hopes of breaking the curse. Given 10 years to find her mother or be sacrificed in her stead, Violet and her family travel the globe to seek her. Violet’s desperate journey at 21 years old is particularly gripping as she encounters first love and heartbreak, vicious conniving scholars and bloodthirsty monsters, but also magic and beautiful other worlds. All magic comes at a price, however, and in her bid to break her family’s curse, Violet must sacrifice and brave much in order to see just one more midnight. While the worldbuilding could be more fully developed and a few questions are left unanswered, the story is riveting.
VERDICT An engrossing, fast-paced read.
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