Sometimes we must pay a terrible price to protect the things we love.
Two classic stories come together in an alternate 1828 Paris.
Kester Grant has masterfully combined the familiar plots of Les Miserables and The Jungle Book as Eponine (Nina) Thénardier’s unique tale unfolds. Nina remembers the day she entered the Court — the day her father sold her sister to the Tiger’s sleazy men. Years later, Nina is stronger than she was that day, and she’s strong enough to save Cosette (Ettie) from the Tiger’s grasp…or so she thought. Stealing from the Tiger means breaking the Law of the Miracle Court, the underground society of criminals known to the city as the Wretched. The Law keeps the threat of war amongst the Wretched at bay — breaking it is a death wish. Within hours of saving Ettie, Nina finds herself on the run in a city that is far too easily bought when the price is right. The Tiger has eyes everywhere, and as Nina and Ettie search for safety, revolution is brewing: A group of students plot to overthrow the monarchy in the wake of a failed revolution.
A kick-butt, morally gray, female protagonist? Sign me up!
I absolutely adored seeing the world through Nina’s eyes. From the very first chapter, readers understand exactly what this girl is fighting for — her sisters. Romance, whether it be with a prince, an assassin, or a rebel, is an absolute afterthought in Nina’s pursuit of justice. She doesn’t swoon or confine herself to what the city says she should be, she knows exactly who she is and what she needs to do. While she doesn’t always make the nicest choices, Nina is motivated by her extreme loyalty and her inherent desire to help the people who cannot or will not help themselves, and for that, she is a hero.
The Court of Miracles is a CALL-to-ACTION, if I’ve ever heard one.
Between the peasant women and children being slaughtered at the hands of royalty and the girls being bought and sold by the Tiger, it’s no wonder why the Wretched came to be. The Wretched might be a bunch of criminals, but they are criminals who live by, and honor, a code. The Tiger broke that code decades ago, and Nina is the first person who has had the courage to stand up to him. The government won’t help its people, the Law is weakening, and someone has got to do something.
This city is BROKEN, but it is not LOST. There is HOPE.
It’s this message that readers are left to ponder after everything is said and done.
If you enjoyed Serpent & Dove, Diamond City, or Six of Crows, you’ll love this new series!
Violence: There are a few notable descriptions of violence, specifically as it’s used in punishment, as well as the tragic battalion scene we’re probably all familiar with in Les Miserables.
Recommended Age: 14+ due to violence