This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series – if you’ve not read it yet, look away now!
At the end of book one (Ink), Leora’s world is turned completely upside down. Everything she thought she knew about her life is in question, she doesn’t even know who her parents are (literally and metaphorically).
And now, she’s a pawn in Mayor Longsight’s game. Sent back to her blank ancestor’s land to spy on them and help the Mayor figure out a way to bring them down. But can Leora overcome everything she thought she knew about the blanks to be accepted by them? And does she truly want to be accepted or is she loyal to the marked people, despite what they’re making her do?
I found this book absolutely gripping, yet again I stayed up til 1 in the morning reading because I just couldn’t put it down. In fact, when my bedside lightbulb stopped working, I read by my phone torch so I could get to the end.
I absolutely loved seeing Leora’s relationship building with Gull, the girl she is staying with in Featherstone. Leora is not easily accepted into the community, but Gull quickly becomes an ally and a friend.
However, there is a lot of mistrust, particularly from Gull’s brother Fenn. When Leora finds out that they are the family of Obel, her mentor from Sainstone, that kind of makes sense, but it doesn’t make it any easier. And Leora doesn’t make it easy for herself either.
I loved learning about the history of Featherstone along with Leora. A lot of the stories we hear are very similar to the stories told in Sainstone in the first book, but with a slightly different twist on them. Showing how history can look different from both sides and it’s very hard to know which side is accurate, if either of them are.
This forms part of Leora’s struggle throughout this book, figuring out where is home and what her identity is. Half blank and half marked, it feels like she doesn’t fit in either place, but she still needs to decide where she wants to be.
To say this book ended on a cliffhanger would be an understatement. I think my jaw literally dropped. I can’t say more or there’ll be major spoilers, but I have a feeling book 3 is going to be ace.