***Firstly, I need to say that the blurb of this book is kind of misleading. I feel like this has been sold as a supernatural book to suit a YA audience when really it’s not. Yeah, if you read this you should really get rid of any and all assumptions you have about what might happen. Also the Goodreads synopsis provided is a summery of the series (I think) because most of it doesn’t happen in this book. I enjoyed it because I am a total history geek and don’t mind indulging in an easy-to-read YA historical fiction. This is a short book with just 260 pages and is unlike any of the hefty historical fictions I have seen lining the shelves which are aimed at adult readers. Perhaps this was one of the things which sold it to me; it’s a fast read, but it allows me to indulge in historical fiction over a weekend rather than over two months. Unfortunately, the character development seems to suffer most from the brevity, but I am sensing (and to be honest really hoping) this improves in future instalments. It was Ishraq’s character who interested me the most, despite only being a secondary character she had one of the most fascinaing and inspirational stories. “…Because we are like the beast: outsiders that other people dread. People don’t understand women who are neither wives nor mothers, daughters nor confined. People fear women of passion, women of education. I am a young woman of education, of colour, of unknown religion and my own faith, and I am as strange to the people of this little village as the beast. Should I stand by and see them kill it because they don’t understand what it is? If I let them kill it without a word of protest, what would stop them coming for me?” Overall this was, for me, a really enjoyable read with engaging mysteries, a richly created world, and interesting, albeit underdeveloped, characters. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book; however, I will be hoping for more – especially where the four protagonists are concerned.