Review by Kimberley Rose
Title: Nameless, A Tale of Beauty and Madness
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia, Razorbill
The description of this book led me to believe I was in for a traditional fantasy novel but I found myself reading a decidedly young adult book, plonked in a fantasy world. Once I realised this I adjusted my expectations accordingly and once I worked out some of the varieties of different species (which wasn’t entirely explained and very confusing at first) I began to enjoy the world.The rich mythology surrounding ‘the family’ was obviously well planned and explained well.
However, I didn’t like the main character. She is weak and makes obviously stupid decisions, deliberately throwing herself in harms way for no clearly given reason. I don’t know any adolescence that stupid. Then all her friends miraculously swoop in to her rescue at an extremely timely moment. Coincidence is a very weak plot device.
I did think that the heroines struggle with the barrier of her stutter was very well written with the contrast between what she thought and what she could actually say, and I did empathize with her. The relationship with nico was well drawn, and her best friends were also strongly defined, so the characterisation was solid.
The story was well paced and the writing was immediate and engaging with some beautiful dreamy pieces of prose, but well-written prose alone doesn’t make a good book.
As a nineteen year old reading this story, I was deeply disturbed at the heroines treatment at the hands of the cult. I am aware that the biel’y are meant to be this disturbing, but frankly, I don’t think it suitable for a teen audience.
Nice cover though.