Monday, 4 March 2013

ARC Review: Nameless (A Tale of Beauty and Madness #1) by Lili St. Crow

Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1) 
Author: Lili St. Crow
Series: A Tale of Beauty and Madness
Pages:  304
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia (Razorbill)
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Amazon: Nameless

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has crafted an evocative update of Snow White, set in a vividly imagined world and populated by unforgettable new characters.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Nameless is the first book I have read by Lili St. Crow and the first two words which popped to mind after reading it was strange and unusual. It was a book which confused me but also mesmerised me, I was intrigued by the creativity and spectacular world created but also wanted and needed more in terms of explanation.

Nameless was inspired by the Brothers Grimm story, Snow White which I have always loved but it certainly didn’t depict the story in quite the same way, I really enjoyed the creative spin Ms. St. Crow put on this classic fairy tale.

The story follows 16 year-old Camille who was found abandoned and beaten in the snow at the age of 6 by a man known as 'the vulture' , Enrico Vultusino who is the leader of one of the seven most powerful and influential families who rule magical New Haven.

Sent to St. Juno's, a pure human charm school and raised as a member of the wealthy Vultusino's, Cami's life is of privilege but she has never felt that she quite belonged. I really liked Cami as a character, she was selfless, self-conscious of her stutter and devoted to those she loves, I adored her thought processes and her actions and reactions were believable.

Trying to explain everything is quite difficult because I am still a tad clueless about who is who and what is what, we have Fausts, Families (Vampires), Griffs, Charms and Minotaurs but despite my confusion, I found the story creative, dark and unique and filled with mystery about Cami's traumatic past, questions about why young girls are being stolen from their homes and the reasoning behind it and also fascinated by the strange setting and vivid world. I was surprised by a few outcomes so I am eager to see how certain aspects are followed up, especially now Cami knows where she belongs.

The love interest in the book is Nico Vultusino, the rebellious son who will run the Family once Papa Vultusino passes to the Undead; he was so protective towards Cami but I wasn’t quite sure where his feelings really lay – brotherly or more but in the end his actions ended up speaking for themself and I quite liked the outcome.

Lili St. Crow's writing is gripping, the plot flowed well and I found the pacing was consistent throughout; each of the secondary characters were likeable, the twist we are given about Tor, a Vultusino groundskeeper I found to be really interesting and definitely not expected, I hope we see more of him in future installments.

The A Tale of Beauty and Madness series has great potential, I am really eager to see where Lili St.Crow takes the story in the sequel.

Thank-you kindly to Razorbill for providing me with a copy of Nameless.



  1. I've read Lili St. Crow before but I don't know if it was the story or her style of writing but I just could't get into the book. I can't wait to read Nameless though! I didn't know it was based off Snow White :) Awesome review!

    1. Thanks Crystal, to tell you the truth when I read a fairy tale retelling, I can never tell or see the connection ;) it was a very interesting read but quite unusual. I'm curious about her other work.

      Thankyou for stopping by :)

  2. OOh nice review! Curious to read this as well. Lili's worlds are always a little hard to get used to the first time around and I sometimes struggle when starting each and every book, but once you get use to her writing and worlds, the words just sort of flow!

    Very nice review!

  3. I have to really agree with Jessica. Lili's writing takes me a while to get comfortable with (to figure out what she's getting at, at least). :) I knew this was a Snow White retelling and I was interested in how she'd warp it. I think I still want to read it - from your review, I think there's enough there that I would like and could hang on for the next book for. Very thought-provoking review! I thought I'd rush out immediately and buy it and now I'm chewing on the idea. lol

  4. The author's writing style sounds interesting as does your use of the words strange and unusual. I am curious of the twist regarding the groundskeeper. Lovely review

  5. Hmmm, this sounds intriguing and yes, unusual. I thought this one would be more dark-fairytale-based! Hmmm. Good review though, Sharon. I can always count on you to be honest! It sounds like this book is a good foundation for the rest of the series.

  6. It definitely sounds like an interesting twist on the classic tale, and I'm kind of interested in seeing who is who in it. I've never read any of Lili's books before so I'm interested in seeing her writing style.

  7. OMG I didn't know she had a new excited!!!

  8. I'm really excited to read Nameless because I absolutely adored Lili's Strange Angels series which is one of my all-time faves. I think it's definitely different that this is a spin on Snow White which is a fairy tale that isn't usually reimagined. Sounds like the book has great potential even if it is confusing in parts! I will definitely have to check it out! :) Great Review!

  9. This sound be an interesting read for me. I loved the beginning of St Crow's Strange Angels series. The end didn't really live up for me. I love the tale of Snow White, so I wonder if I'll feel like she stays true or butchers it. Unfortunately, I'll go into this with reservations, but I do still want to read it.


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