“When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.
Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.“
Nameless: A Tale of Beauty and Madness is truly, truly creepy. It’s also not like the usual fairytale retelling YA stories that I’ve been dabbling in. It’s truly dark (more madness than beauty) and starts in media res.
We the reader aren’t given a handy cheat-sheet about the world- Lili St. Crow clearly just assumes we can keep up, read between the lines, and figure out the riddles contained within.
Man, I love when an author assumes I’m intelligent.
This one is a relatively quick read, set in a contemporary-with-magic-and-mutations world. Cami is a unique voice, a girl who is suffering from PTSD without knowing it (or why). I love that she stutters, and you can feel her frustration with this difficulty communicating.
I recommend it for fans of fairytale retellings, dark fantasy stories, unique YA books, old-world Grimm-style fairytales, and poetic narratives.