Source: Bought hardcover
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2013
Age Genre: YA
Challenges: Flight of Fantasy
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In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
These two are just... *sigh* I mean, seriously, the shipping is crazy. They just... work! They bring the best in each other, they encourage each other to be better, they open each other's eyes. They're also HAWT like lava and so very delicious. And the best part? It takes time for their relationship to grow. They start as semi enemies, then reluctant partners, then friends, then... more. It's beautiful!