by Kat hawthorne
After some trial and error, successful Oddities are created with skills far superior to any the world has ever known. But before long it is apparent that individuals with such power have the potential to be more dangerous than the enemies they were created to protect against. After the Empress’s mysterious death, a cull is called. Oddities are taken into the custody of the Temple, where they are never seen or heard from again.
Except for one.
Due to her scandalous heritage, Katasuma is the only Oddity whose birth was never recorded. With the aid of her caring father, Low the Wise (who also happens to be the Emperor’s most trusted advisor) Katasuma spends her entire life in hiding behind the closed door of Low’s private chambers. Aside from her father, no one knows Katasuma even exists.
Sixteen years go by.
Another pompous and arrogant young man sits before a card-reading witch, desperately seeking salvation from his imminent death. The witch is old and grisly, but not forgetful; something in the young man sparks a memory. When he begins asking about a set of experiments he has devised to woo the Emperor into delaying his sentence, she knows this is her chance to correct the mistakes of the past. The question is, will the young man choose common mortal greed or the enlightenment offered by the Tarot?
I loved this well-written book and it's surprising ending.
You can read my interview with Kat Hawthorne here.