Rory (The Ghosts of Palladino #1)
Summary: Far beyond heaven, earth and hell is a city known as Palladino, a place ruled by ghosts and filled with demons, magic, and all sorts of darkly beautiful things. A city where no one can ever escape.
Eighteen-year-old Rory is a cake decorator who makes stunning confections. But no amount of frosting or miracles can save her when a demon kidnaps her—and carries her to Palladino. Here, Rory ends up in a deadly charm school where young women are forced to become companions for the Ghost Lords. And for her to survive, Rory must become everything that she isn’t: graceful, elegant... and perfect.
But nothing is what it seems in Palladino. Not the magic. Not the ghosts. And definitely not Martin Marius, the bizarre Ghost Lord-slash-inventor who is drawn to Rory. For amid a thousand machines and a hundred cats, Martin holds a secret that could change everything. A secret that could either free Rory... or destroy her.
Release Date: Aug 10, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy romance
Source: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Rory was absolutely amazing! I am a huge fan of the author’s mermaid YA series, Florence, so I couldn’t wait to get started on Rory. I expected to like it a lot, but I didn’t expect to love it even more than I loved Florence! Ciye Cho is a wonderful and talented author who has a knack for creating the most fascinating worlds and the plots within those worlds. Rory was one of the most unique premises I’ve come across and was absolutely enchanting. As with Cho’s mermaid series, the cover of Rory is gorgeous and represents the book very well.
Aurora, or Rory, was such a likeable character. She was quirky and strong willed. When she was taken to the land of Palladino and placed in a charm school with other young girls, she was extremely out of place. The other girls were charming, graceful, obedient, and had a sort of classical beauty to them. Rory was different, not quite graceful or elegant and had her own charm and beauty that was unique, but she didn’t let herself be intimidated by the other girls. I loved her curiosity and willingness to question everything, even when it was rude to do so. Why was she there? What was the goal? What did she need to do in order to get out?
The charm school was only the beginning of Rory’s adventures in the land of ghosts and perhaps the easiest part. I loved the direction of the plot and how nothing was predictable about it at all. I never knew what would happen next or what everything meant. I didn’t have a bigger picture, so I was right there with Rory trying to piece everything together and figure out her purpose and place in the world. Would she escape, would she pass the tests, would she find someone she could trust? I didn’t expect anything that happened to happen, but I loved every second! I didn’t know what avenues would be explored next and if a moment of attraction, terror, wonder, etc would be forgotten or later expanded upon or if Rory would get herself into trouble or be in the right place at the right time.
Rory surprised me so many times. Her creativity and the way she put so much of herself into her hobby made me admire her. I rooted for her the entire time and found her to be so caring and wary at the same time, loyal and distrusting, and completely challenging. I couldn’t figure out Martin Marius, the tinkering and inventive ghost, and I was just as confused as Rory by the way the ghost cat, Cookie, seemed to describe him and think of him. I loved the other characters, especially Cookie. Everyone was delightful in their own ways, whether they were delightfully terrifying, strange, or sweet. I won’t spoil anything that happens after the charm school, but the second half of the book was my favorite. The ending was spectacular and I’m already impatiently waiting on the second book!
Rory is a must read for anyone who enjoys fantasy, fairy tale type of worlds, magic, or any kind of adventure. While it was darker in the sense that it dealt with ghosts and death, it was also light and full of wondrous things like lanterns of honey with glowing dragonflies and hot air balloons in the sky. It was creative, magical, inventive, and ultimately dazzling. I can’t contain it into just one genre! Even though I praise the story so much for being descriptive, it isn’t overly so or hard to read. I was immersed in the details, wanting to see, touch, and taste the things that Rory was sensing.
Ciye Cho is such a talented author. His worlds are enchanting and the plots within them don’t disappoint. I cannot gush enough about this book or his other ones and I feel like he is so underrated. I don’t hear near enough people talking about his books! I love how his stories are YA fantasy just as I’d want it, but so descriptive, new, magical, and unpredictable. They are like a breath of fresh air when I need it most.
Other Books by Ciye Cho:
Shiewo: A Fantasy Flight to Adventure (Shiewo’s Odyssey #1): Goodreads
Labels: Adventure, Fantasy, paranormal romance, Review, YA