The Girl of Ink and Stars - Kiran Millwood Hargrave
What a wonderful, magical book. I've had this on my list to read for some time now and I eventually bought the book. The actual book is beautiful, all the pages have lovely map designs on them, and I think I would not have hesitated to buy this ages ago if I had realised! The story itself does not disappoint either. Though it is aimed at younger readers, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Isabella lives on an island, apart from the rest of the world. Her father is a cartographer but they are no longer able to map the whole island as the Governor has forbidden any travelling, both around the island and away from it. But when the Governor's daughter, Isabella's best friend, runs away, Isabella manages to trick her way into the search party. While trying to save her friend, Isabella realises she also needs to save the entire island itself from the threat that has appeared. This is something everyone thought was a myth, but as she says, 'A myth is something that happened so long ago people like to pretend it's not real, even when it is.'
Another line I particularly liked was '...she was as uncoordinated as a one-legged rabbit...' it made me laugh out loud when I was on the train!
I have a bit of a weakness for mythology stories so I loved the way myth turned to reality as the book progressed and the truth of why the Governor appeared on the island is eventually revealed. Isabella is a great character too. She grew up hearing the stories and they stayed with her even as she got older and other children didn't want to believe any more. This is why she is the perfect heroine in the story and the only one who could save the island.
The descriptions of the maps are amazing, you can imagine the seas glittering and the forests moving. I would love to have one of Isabella's maps on my wall.
All this island talk has me craving a Long Island Iced Tea. There are a lot of ingredients in this cocktail and it does sound quite boozy but the quantities are small and everything is in equal measures so it is really easy to make. Add 1/2 a shot of all the following ingredients to a shaker and shake well with ice - gin, rum, vodka, tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, lime juice and sugar syrup. Pour into a glass with ice and top up with cola. Done!
I'm very excited to use one of my birthday presents for the first time here. My Wonder Woman jar is perfect for drinking my cocktail from.