Caraval meets Dance of Thieves in the first installment of an electrifying new series!
Remember, if you know what you want, you’ll never find it.
Hazel Blackthorn is an outcast, the bastard daughter of a nameless sailor and a disgraced mother. She will do anything to marry her secret fiancé and escape her oppressive life. When her fiancé announces he must marry her cousin in order to save his family’s crumbling business, Hazel is heartbroken and her hope for the future crushed. But a kind old man offers her salvation: Travel to the mythical Bazaar that visits the island once every thirty years and return before the end of the festival with medicine he needs, and she will have all the riches in the world. Gripped by hope, Hazel accepts.
But in the Bazaar, a place where the gods themselves used to dwell, Hazel can trust nothing. In a world where you can buy time and purchase power, wicked merchants wield cruel magic. As she travels further into the Bazaar, searching for the medicine her benefactor desires, she becomes enmeshed in a game of cat and mouse with the all-powerful King of the Bazaar, a man with a silver-tongue and shadowy past.
As time runs out and the Bazaar threatens to trap Hazel forever, she begins to unravel the mystery of the Bazaar and why the King wants her for himself. But Hazel must decide if her desire for her freedom is worth the cost the Bazaar demands–and if the love she thought she needed is the one she truly deserves.
Huge thank you to Book of Matches Media and Catelyn Wilson for sharing this e-arc with me. The following review reflects my honest reading experience.
These Wicked Stars is a new ya fantasy from author Catelyn Wilson. I was very intrigued by both the cover and blurb for this book. Plus the atmospheric Caraval-esc vibes definitely grabbed my attention. Overall I really enjoyed These Wicked Stars. I totally hooked at the beginning! I’m only rating it 3.5 stars because I lost a bit of interest as the story progressed and I wasn’t super attached to the characters. However, These Wicked Stars was fast-paced and full of action. It features fairytale elements, gods and goddesses, and lots of magic!
I absolutely loved the world and atmosphere in These Wicked Stars. Everything was just the right amount of magical and mysterious. Wilson did an excellent job of crafting each location and making me feel like I was there along with the characters. This was especially true for the Underworld!
I think my biggest issues with this book were my connection to the characters and the romance. Hazel was an ok lead, but she was VERY naive. It was hard not to get super frustrated with her throughout her journey. I did really like Cassian, but I’m not totally on board with their romance yet. Hazel seemed to dislike Cassian throughout the majority of the book, but then her feelings suddenly change to love. It was just a bit too sudden for me.
I did really enjoy the cliffhanger ending in These Wicked Stars. I am very intrigued and looking forward to learning more about Hazel’s father, the gods and goddesses, and the Bazaar.