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.
This novel is about taking us to our roots, and finding out exactly who we truly are. However, it will be challenging, especially if there are people who are already looking down upon you. It may take quite a lot out of us in order to find the strength to continue looking, but it may be worth it in the end.
The story seems to have a lot of potential, especially as it is advertised as a modern retelling of the classic tale of Snow White. The main character, Camille, even has two best friends, Ruby who is modeled after Red Riding Hood, and Ellie who is modeled after Cinderella. There is talk of magic and power all around, which is always exciting.
However, the story was very confusing to follow as there are frequent changes in point of view. In the prologue for example, when Cami is telling the story of how she was found, she switches between referring to herself as “I” and “the little girl”, which made it difficult to understand. Also, the concept and rules of the magic and families is never explained, and you only have the characters’ conversations to learn everything.
Past all the confusion, I was content with the story. Although I am debating whether or not to continue the series. I most likely would not recommend this for fellow readers, but certainly encourage them to try it out for themselves.
Reviewed by Mercedes Olivas
Publication date: 2/6/2014
Series: Tales of Beauty and Madness Series