The synopsis for Catelyn Wilson’s new book These Wicked Stars immediately caught my attention as it reminded me of Caraval, another series that I love. The description of the Bazaar sounded like it could be along the same lines, and I knew I had to read it. I wasn’t disappointed in the sense that the Bazaar has a very similar atmosphere, but I was much more pleasantly surprised by how different the story really was and the fact that it took a very different route than I was expecting.
Hazel is an outsider in her small town due to her mother having an affair with an unknown man who is her father. She is devastated when her secret fiancé reveals he is going to be marrying her cousin instead, and believing it’s a matter of money due to his families failing business, she sets out to find a way to save their future together. This leads her to an old man who requests she find something for him in the Bazaar, for which he will give her all the money she and Linus could possibly need to be together.
However, things quickly become more than they seem as she spends more time in the Bazaar trying to find her way to the palace to find what she seeks. She becomes wrapped up in something she doesn’t understand, involved with a man who has been following her in the shadows for a while, Cassian, and the King of the Bazaar who enlists her to go to the Underworld to retrieve something important for him.
I have to say this book ended up surprising me with how good it was. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be so impressed but I ended up loving it. The part that appealed to me the most was how much darker it ended up being than I was expecting. With a journey to the underworld, soulless creatures called lotus-eaters who will devour people, a truly dark ruler who has lost all sense of morality. It was such a good read and I cannot wait for the sequel.
My favourite character by far was Cassian, I loved him right from the moment he actually started interacting with Hazel and couldn’t get enough of him. I want so badly for the next book to have his POV in it as well. Even the King of the Bazaar was intense and fleshed out as a character. Hazel, I had no real attachment or interest in per se as she didn’t really stick out as a necessarily interesting heroine but she does grow as the story goes on, but she is by no means the most interesting character or really the top five.
There were some reveals by the end of the book and it left off with enough of a cliffhanger to leave the reader wanting more immediately. I am most certainly that reader because I cannot wait until the next one comes out to see where things go, especially with the gods coming into the story by the looks of things.