As someone who has always been a little too soft for the world, nothing delights me more than living vicariously through fierce and hard as nail protagonists like Opal. Opal is fighting every day to make sure her brother doesn’t go without in the town of Eden. Despite barely having time to think, Opal begins to dream of Starling House, the Secret that no one talks about, and even though she knows better, she finds herself at the front door. Arthur is going to be the last warden of the Starling House, taking its legacy of monsters and magic down with him. He’s determined to be so until Opal breaks down the walls around his heart with her knock at Starling House’s door. This is a story of two people who are less than beautiful that smile with crooked teeth and black eyes, and I didn’t want it to end.
Starling House by Alix E. Harrow, (List Price: $28.99, Tor Books, 9781250799050, October 2023)
Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia