Review: The Mapmaker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford


“Sharra’s world is a terrifying place. Violent seismic ‘Shifts’ and outbreaks of an all-consuming black fire radically alter landscapes on an increasingly frequent basis. Only the Map Makers can predict where the Shift will fall, and Sharra, daughter to one of the most famous Map Makers, yearns to join their ranks and break a cultural taboo which forbids female cartographers.Sharra’s father, Lord Milton, is one of the few to challenge the current order, but his shadowy past limits his political reach and his second wife, Lady Ivory, is determined to manipulate him to ensure a privileged future for herself and her daughter, Jayne. The main obstacle standing in Ivory’s way is Sharra.”

Goodreads Description

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Spark for the copy! 🙂

The Mapmaker’s Daughter sounded fantastic, and the free sample I got from Amazon before requesting the full title on NetGalley, was. I was expecting dramatic adventures and lots of action. Unfortunately, the book fell kind of flat for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it and the last few chapters were excellent (minus one thing which really brought it down). It just had flat parts, where reading was a drag and I was quite bored in some places. It just didn’t resonate enough with me, it could have been so awesome. If all of it was like the first chapter and the last two chapters, it would have been at least a four-star read for me.

The world this story is set in is so interesting, and well-developed, but I felt like I was being told a story about people interacting with each other when what I really wanted was to look at this crazy, deadly world some more. The world itself was so dynamic and I felt like I was constantly being dragged away from that.

The characters were ok. There wasn’t a character I really loved. Ivory was sufficiently evil to rile me up though, and Milton was the kind of man I wanted to yell at. I liked Maven’s snark; he was the character I liked the most, as well as his grandmother. As for the main character, Sharra… Well I liked who she became, but I didn’t really like her or dislike her.

This book is worth reading and it is worth bearing with the dull parts. The world is brilliant, the map is brilliant, and the message tube things were awesome. There were some really great scenes and some really boring ones.

Overall, read it for the worldbuilding and the ending! 🙂


Quality of Writing: 2 out of 5

Enjoyment Level: 3 out of 5

Emotional Depth: 2 out of 5

[Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 ]

*Plus kudos for a brilliant ending!

Have you read this one? What did you think?


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