In the garden of the Sultan’s palace, an orphan girl spins tales to warm a young and curious prince. Inked onto her eyelids and the surrounding flesh, the tales are of magical and fantastical beasts: shape-shifting witches, heron kings, snake gods, and living stars. Each tale is stranger and more fantastical then the one before. And with each tale, we learn a little bit more about the tellers themselves.
I found this book to be fascinating. I had expected that the tales would be linear, told one after another, but instead they weave in and out each other, back and forth between tellers, stories within stories much like a tapestry. The blurb on the back even advertises the fact yet I still didn't expect it. The tales themselves are equally fascinating: richly detailed, complex, and full of imagery. The mythology is simply incredible and extremely well thought out.
The interweaving of the tales makes the storyline hard to follow so it’s best to just go with the flow. As such there is very little for a plotline, as least, it’s not easy to see. And because the story is all about the myths and tales, there are no real “main” characters. So anyone who wants a minimum of plot will be disappointed, but I think it’s definitely worth it. The second book in the duology, The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice, will be released October 30th and it will interesting to see how the story concludes.
Final Rating: 8.5/10.