Duck has always lived on the streets with a gang of urchins who call themselves the Crowns. They pick pockets and steal food to stay alive. Their leader, Gnat, comes up with the idea for one of them to masquerade as a baker’s apprentice to steal from the bakery, and Duck is chosen for the job. Duck uses forged apprenticeship papers to begin working at the bakery, and then passes stolen bread and coins to the rest of the street urchins. But the longer Duck works at the bakery, the more she begins to settle into her new life. The baker lady is kind to her, and they become a weird sort of family. Duck’s loyalties are divided. Will she choose the baker who loves her like a mother would, or her ragtag family of pickpockets?
I loved Duck’s character! She has such a complex personality, especially since she has all kinds of emotional issues from living on the streets and never being able to trust anyone. She is not used to being loved, so she pushes people away. She is not used to being safe, so she is always on edge. It was heartbreaking to see how she gradually begins to open up and heal.
The writing style is very emotional. It really tugs at your heart strings. I loved the dialogue and there are some sweet and funny scenes. The Middle Ages setting is really interesting too!
The plot is a little slow. I think this book could have been condensed a bit. But the character depth is wonderful, so that kept my interest! It was so wonderful to see the way the relationships between characters kept evolving and changing.
There is a second POV from a gargoyle who is on a crumbling ruin of a cathedral that was never finished. We get a few short chapters from the gargoyle’s perspective. I hated those chapters. All he does is whine and complain the whole time. I kept waiting to find out where his story would intersect with Duck’s story, and when it finally did intersect, it was so unbelievable and stupid. I did not like it at all. It didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story. I think the whole book would be better if they just cut out all the gargoyle parts.
But overall, I enjoyed most of the story, and I loved the characters!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions expressed here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.