Later on today, I will be posting an interview with K. Starling herself, about her new novel, self-publishing and her writing process, but first a review:
Novel: In Beauty’s Veins, by K. Starling
Audience: Any woman who cares about the rights of her fellow women, although guys might be drawn to its interesting world and unique take on vampires.
When I first picked up K. Starling’s book, In Beauty’s Veins, I joked that it had some heft to it, but little did I know that later I would also be using this phrase to refer to its content. Here we have a novel that touches on many themes: A woman’s rights and sexuality, self-worth, friendship, forgiveness, revenge, monsters, death, and healing…just to name a few.
To find this all in one novel is like finding a gem amongst the stones. There’s just so much in this novel to think about.
In Beauty’s Veins is a novel about the journey of four women all united by a Healer named Daphne, who comes to the not exactly desirable town of Halfawaise with the intentions of finding a lost neighbor and to become a healer there. She is of course met with some road blocks: the town medic, who doesn’t want another Healer in his town and the suspicion that follows her title: Is she really a Healer that the Legends talk about?
It doesn’t help that another legend follows her there, when Berri, one of the women who befriends Daphne, discovers someone who was attacked by a Vampyre. As Daphne tells her story to her new friends, suddenly the things that used to be legend aren’t legend anymore.
Told in a mixture of third and first person perspective, Daphne, the Healer, manages to heal more than just flesh and blood; she touches each woman’s heart and soul. Especially Berri, who was accused many years ago of murder and has no friends.
Through Daphne’s story, we learn how the world should be, (and the way it often isn’t); how important sometimes one friend is to a person truly alone in the world. How a woman should be defined by how she sees herself, not her sex.
It challenges the concept of who is a monster: a vampire, who by definition is a monster, or a human, who rapes and kills? It touches on right and wrong. Could an action so innocent, really cause so much harm? And how important it is to love yourself in order to love others.
This is a novel worthy of a good book club, as there are a lot of things to talk about afterwards. Here you will find a world that is truly different than anything I have read out there. Starling has weaved a tale that’s so refreshing in its complexity, in the character’s friendships and the compassion they show towards one another.
Here’s a peak at the map to this world in the inside cover:
Stay tuned for more K. Starling this evening!