The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave Review

The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Publisher: Chicken House

Release Date: May 5,2016

Pages: 228

Available through Bookshop which directly supports indie bookstores: The Girl Of Ink & Stars (or through The Book Depository)

Summary: Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.

When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.

But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

My Thoughts: A tale of mystery, friendship, adventure and sacrifice!

Not only from the story, but also the presentation with the illustrations and maps, I felt I was whisked away into another world!


“Each of us carries the map of our lives on our skin, in the way we walk, even in the way we grow” (Page 7)


Written as a fairy tale, this story follows Isabella (Isa) and the journey she embarks on, when she discovers the peculiar events taking place on her beloved island of Joya!

She disguises herself as her brother who passed away a long time ago and joins the governor’s team to help find her best friend Lupe (governor’s daughter) when she goes missing, while also understanding/learning more about the island she lives on and the magic that still runs through it!

Friendship truly is the heart of this story & I loved every moment of it!

Isabella has a friend from her village named Pablo, who discovers she’s part of the governor’s team! What I loved about their friendship was that even though Pablo had stopped talking to Isa for quite sometime (b/c of the age difference between them/judgement from friends) they came together because of their care for Lupe and amended their fading friendship!

It was great to get backstory on so many characters in such a short story! For example, we come to learn that the governor came from a far away land, essentially took over Gromera (the village Isa lives in) and closed off parts of the island! Getting more to his character really brought many pieces of the story together!

Isa was my favorite character! Being a cartographer’s daughter, we see the world with optimism and yearning of adventure! I loved how her knowledge of cartography not only was passed down from her father who taught her about the magic of other lands/myths, but also how it shaped her into a girl who truly wants to explore and learn more about what is out there!

The world-building is spectacular! With the poetic and lyrical writing, the island of Joya appears right before your eyes! Characters, world, myths and the magical elements introduced truly came to life on the page!

The story is fast-paced, but you truly get to understand the world and characters in quite a short story!

My only minor issue was that it felt a little bit rushed at the end!

If you don’t read much middle-grade or are looking for a unique and magical story, definitely pick this book up!

The Girl Of Ink & Stars is a riveting tale of mystery, adventure, unforgettable characters and a captivating world that will leave you wanting more long after you turn the final page!



2 thoughts on “The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave Review

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