What the back says... When sixteen-year-old Lilly arrives in Castello, she isn't impressed.
A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school
Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from
destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and
'purity'. . . whatever the cost.
Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn't sure she can trust anyone -- not even
And then she accidentally breaks Castello's most important rule: when the General's men come to test your blood, you'd better not be anything more than human...
Well, that was a chaotic, frantic, literary ride... in the best possible way! It doesn't happen to me often but when I'd reached the last line of this book and it was all over, I did give a small shout... 'it can't finish there'?! And then I couldn't stop thinking about it. If that's not a sign of a good read, I don't know what is...
The story follows 16 year old Lilly who, following the death of her mother and a new job for her father, moves to Castello, an Italian town with a rich history. This mysterious town holds stories of fighting clans, leadership struggles and a power that runs deep. Lilly learns very quickly that things aren't what they seem, there are rules that need to be followed and there isn't a handbook that's going to teach her.
Her first day at a new school sees her connect, attract and almost repel her fellow students. Sparks fly with Christian but he can't bear to be near her, a link forms with Liza and there is more than friendship on the horizon and then there's Nico... if looks could kill...
After a slow but steady start the story really starts to build when Lilly learns the truth about what happened in Castella, this weaves an intricate story of family history, the fight for power and, quite simply, the fight to stay alive. Magic is real, and she has it, but in Castella that power is forbidden and needs to stay hidden. The authorities hunt for those that possess it, and those found with it are dealt with in the most brutal way. But what happens when you can't hide it anymore, and worse still, when it's pulling you towards someone else and it puts you both in danger.
It's from here that the pace really builds, the story is like a continuous, thumping heartbeat, lurching from one knife edge moment to another, I dare you not to have butterfly's in your tummy by the final act of this book.
What I loved most about this story is that it wasn't the standard formula - the girl did not need rescuing, she could do it herself. She made mistakes, she fought to make things right and she tried to protect those that mattered. Relationships were formed - things were messy and complicated but they were real.
So, all in all, I loved it! I love this genre, YA fantasy is very much up my street and actually it was nice to not be reading about vampires for a change. I really hope there is a follow-up in the pipeline because, as I said, it can't possibly finish where it did! Please read this book, you will not be disappointed.
Thank you again to The Write Reads for a place on this blog tour.
I received this as a mobile publication in return for an honest review as part of The Write Reads Blog Tour.