At first glance Karou and her life seem pretty normal. She’s an artist going to school in the magical city of Prague. She and her best friend Zazou have normal teenage conversations about dirtbag exboyfriends and cute future ones. A hint of the magical gets introduced into the story and the reader starts to realize that with Karou, appearances are deceiving and that hint of magic becomes a deluge until the reader is drenched in the fantastical.
Akiva meets Karou when she’s running an errand collecting teeth for the father figure in her life, Brimstone. Brimstone is a chimeara, a race that is monster like in appearance, but human in manner. Kind of. Akiva spots Karou in a marketplace and there is something fascinating about her, so he follows her. When he see’s her buying teeth, he jumps to a conclusion and tries to kill her. Karou, an innocent, somehow defends herself with tattoo’s that blaze into life in his presence, shooting fire, and escapes back to Prague. He follows her and observes her life, realizing he was mistaken. This is where their love story begins. It’s mythological in nature, but reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet’s tale of two lovers from opposing families, although in this case they are from opposing races who are at war with each other.
I loved the mythology of this world, the city of Prague is magical in nature and was the perfect setting, and I fell immediately in love with Karou. Her story was pure fantasy and her love for Akiva overflowed. Their’s is a story I will read to the end.