It's Wintersong meets You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone with a distinct Eastern European twist, and reminds me at every turn of The Hazel Wood.
Precisely by being appalling, The Silence of the Girls serves as a jarring, shocking and necessary reminder that no amount of glamorising negates an awful reality.
As one character memorably tells Lada Dracul before leaving her for the last time: It has been an honour.
With a touch of Renée Ahdieh and S. Jae-Jones, Megan Bannen's debut shines with passion for the historical subject matter that she elevates into a timeless tragic romance. Yet for all its lush writing, The Bird and the Blade fails to add enough to the Puccini opera Turandot to escape the weary sense of "been there, done that."
While Flame in the Mist waffled about uneventfully in overwrought prose for significant portions of the book, its sequel is a fast-paced, twisty ride worthy of Renée Ahdieh's finest writing.