Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: City of A Thousand Dolls


Title: City of A Thousand Dolls
Author: Miriam Forster
Release Date:February 5th, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow
Format: Harper Teen
Pages: 359
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description:An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.


City of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster is world building at its finest.  Set in the Bhinian Empire, this book is about a young girl named Nisha, who was abandoned at the doors of the City of A Thousand Dolls when she was just a child.  Known for taking in orphaned girls and training them to become apprentices in specific fields of study, the City of A Thousand Dolls becomes Nisha’s new home.  Unlike many of the other girls who are sent to a specific House to study one thing, Nisha works for the Matron of the City of A Thousand Dolls, who oversees all Houses. 

Unfortunately, this job comes with its risks, as Nisha soon finds out.  Having lived a majority of her life working for the Matron, Nisha thinks she’s seen it all.  That is until one day a girl from the House of Pleasure is found dead.  For Nisha, I think this is a sort of wakeup call for her.  She always assumed the girls lived in a safe environment, one in which nothing can happen to them.  Little does she know at the time of the first murder though, that things are only going to get worse.  As the number of murders taking place in the City of A Thousand Dolls increases, the Matron assigns Nisha to investigate what is going on.  As the Matron’s assistant, Nisha has the most access to all the Houses and therefore is the best candidate for the job.  Poking her nose around gets her noticed though, and suddenly Nisha is caught up in a murder mystery that puts not only her own life in danger, but those of the people she loves.

Now don’t laugh! But one of my favorite parts of this book was the cats!  As a self proclaimed cat lady myself, I am partially biased towards any books that have cats in them.  This book though, was exceptionally exciting for me!  Are you ready for this? Ok. THERE ARE TALKING CATS.  I’m serious, this is not a joke! And while many of you are probably laughing right now, and making assumptions about how well this is portrayed in the book, I can assure you, Miriam Forster is a genius.  Talking cats may sound funny, and one might think it takes away from the maturity level of the book itself, but it actually doesn’t!  Nisha is the only one who can communicate with the cats, and although you don’t find out until the end why this is the case, it makes for a really interesting plot twist!  Since Nisha does not belong to a specific House at the City of A Thousand Dolls, she has a harder time making friends with the other girls living in the City.  Also when she was first abandoned there, the cats kept Nisha company and gave her comfort when she was lonely.  As she grew up, they were her constant companions and she doesn’t even think twice when communicating with them, or second guess why none of the other girls can’t.  My favorite is Jerrit, who is especially close with Nisha.  Not only is he hilarious in the book, but he also gives Nisha advice and helps her investigate the murders taking place.  For fans of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, you will love this book! The cats remind me of Solembum from Christopher Paolini’s books, who is extremely sassy and witty, much like Jerrit in this book. 

One of my other favorite aspects of this book, was the legendary Sune, who are shape shifters in this world.  For fans of anime, they are similar to the Kitsune.  I loved the parts in this book that mentioned the mysterious Sune, and I wish they had been mentioned more.  I have a feeling though, that they play a more crucial role in the next book in this series, which is partly why I am so excited for the next one to come out!

All in all, City of A Thousand Dolls is a fantastical, intriguing read.  East Indian inspired, this book is rich in culture and Miriam paints a vivid picture when describing the City the girls live in.  If you’re an avid reader like myself, then you’re in for a treat with this one.  I’ve yet to read a book similar to the culture and world building that is seen in this book series, and I can’t wait for more.  City of A Thousand Dolls is a wonderful beginning for Miriam’s Bhinian Empire series.



  1. I think my favorite part would be the cats too! I haven't read this book, but I'm intrigued because of the premise. I have heard the world building is good, and talking cats?!? I'm sold! I heard the second book is out as well!

  2. the second book is out already?! CRAP i missed that! i'll have to look for it! thanks for letting me know! and YES the cats part made it So good! hope you get a chance to read it! thanks for reading my review Katie!

  3. I was in as soon as you mentioned talking cats.

    1. hahaha awesome! a fellow cat lady! i LOVE cats! i have three:) thanks for checking out my review Heather!


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