Review Blog

Aug 13 2014

Nameless by Lili St. Crow

cover image

A Tale of Beauty and Madness series. Penguin, 2013. ISBN 9781921880193. (Ages: 14+) Nameless is the first novel in the dark A Tale of Beauty and Madness series, retelling the story of Snow White in a fresh yet twisted way. The story focuses on sixteen-year-old Camille, orphaned into the rich Vultusino family at the age of six with only the scars on her body to tell her of her past. Over the course of the novel, she begins to discover the horrors of her past while struggling to fit in with her surroundings.
The characters in Nameless are solid and believable. Cami suffers from a stutter, and it is easy to feel her frustration as she tries to be heard by those around her. Her two friends, fascinating twists on Cinderella and Red Riding Hood, have minor roles, however they felt well developed with their own stories to tell. The romance between Cami and Nico Vultusino was slow but endearing, and the pace worked well with the characters. St. Crow was able to convey the time and importance of the relationship as it was tested to the limits through her poetic and vivid prose. There is some swearing, particularly in the dialogue, which may turn off some readers, however it all felt quite realistic, considering the characters and situations. Each character has a distinct way of speaking with natural dialogue that sets them apart. Nameless is set in the city of New Haven, where mutilated Twists and Jacks often cross paths with mere-humans and sophisticated Charmers. The world building is quite complex and well thought out, though a lot of terminology goes unexplained, making the story difficult to follow at times, however Lili St. Crow's writing style is absolutely gorgeous, with eloquently written emotions and vibrant environments.
Nameless was a slightly confusing dark and winding fantasy set in an alternate reality, and will make for a very entertaining and addictive read about finding one's identity to anyone who enjoys twists on classic fairy tales.
Ruby T. (Student)

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