Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for gifting me with the e-ARC of this book (I actually ended up reading the absolutely stunning Illumicrate edition pictured below).
So the blurb for this book (taken from Goodreads) is:
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).
When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.
I was really intrigued by this as everyone was raving about how it’s a Les Mis retelling, and as I have never seen/read Les Mis I got to go into this story with fresh eyes and no real expectations. So on that note, although I had no expectations on the retelling side, I did expect this to be a great book (and boy do I love a book with a heist). I thought this was brilliantly written and I cannot wait for the sequel.
I really enjoyed how a lot of the characters were very morally grey, Nina for example is a theif and also essentially uses other characters as bait, sometimes regrets it instanty and trying to fix her error. Without a doubt, Nina is my favourite character, she’s clever and the way she gets into certain places to steal is absolutely genius – the prison was my favourite. I really liked the Prince, although he is definitely a sheltered royal who could learn a few things about the world outside the palace, but I felt like we didn’t get enough of him in this book, I’m hoping we see a bit more from him in the second book, as I think he could bring so much more to the story. Ettie really grated on my nerves at some parts but I loved that she did because it was just a reminder that she’s still a child, she’s naïve and Nina has tried sheltering her from the monstrosities she’s experienced and the childhood she herself lost.
I think my favourite part of this was the different guilds, their system and rules were so interesting and I really hope we get to see more, although it was also majorly flawed how they all seemed to be under the unspoken control of one guild lord in particular. Although there is no real romance in this, there are three possible love interests for Nina, and while I instantly ruled out one of them, I was a bit fan of the idea of another in particular but near the end my opinion on that changed completely to the third so I’m definitely interested to see where that actually goes, and if it actually goes anywhere in the next book.