When on page 22 of this book, Brimstone tells Karou to beware of “inessential penises”—I knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary YA novel. The Wishmonger world is not one I am familiar with, a nice change for me, a rabid mythology reader. Ms. Taylor’s world building is good, enough details are there to keep me interested, without spilling secrets too soon. I highlighted several passages of descriptions that I found unique, or something several of my students would find similar to their own way of thinking, or just phrased in such a way to be almost poetic.
Karou has moved often, as a child, and has only one close friend, who really doesn’t believe the truth she’s been told. I like how Karou discovered the way to tell the truth in such a way that she doesn’t have to keep track of lies, but yet, no one really believes her, because it is too fantastic. She’s used her wishes to learn languages from where ever she’s been, if only it were so easy.
I can only give this book 4 stars because of the ending. Sigh…to be continued.
“I don’t know many rules to live by,” he’d said. “But here’s one. It’s simple. Don’t put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or tattoo—and,,, no inessential penises, either”
“Inessential penises?” Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. “Is there any such thing as an essential one?”
“When an essential one comes along, you’ll know,” he’d replied. “Stop squandering yourself, child. Wait for love.”
“Love.” Her delight evaporated. She’d thought that was love. (page 22)
When she was alone, the empty place within her, the missingness as she thought of it, seemed to swell. Even being with Kaz had done something to keep it at bay, though not enough. Never enough. (page 53)
Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn’t. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and… cancel her. (page 71)
He achieved invisibility. It was a triumph that would have garnered him fame and the emperor’s highest honors, and it gave him a cold satisfaction to keep it to himself. (page 361)