City of a Thousand Dolls (Bhinian Empire, #1)
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City of a Thousand Dolls (Bhinian Empire #1)

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,948 ratings  ·  360 reviews
An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rum...more
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Harper Teen
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tatiana
Feb 10, 2013 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of juvenile fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 2013
As seen on The Readventurer

My first read of 2013 and, well, my advice is - skip it. I finished it so you don't have to. It is sad mostly because City of a Thousand Dolls is written so earnestly and with such good intentions. You can tell that the author meant this novel to be about diverse characters and diverse cultures. Too bad it's just not that great of a novel. It is simply lacking in sophistication and maturity.

City of a Thousand Dolls is another Asian-inspired fantasy which I would advise...more
Blythe
To be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure what urged me to read City of a Thousand Dolls the day it was released, or even at all. I'm not, and most likely never will be, a high fantasy fan, and usually steer clear of high fantasies in general, unless they've received positive reviews from many friends of mine. City of a Thousand Dolls did not receive very many positive reviews from friends of mine, so in retrospect, I honestly have no clue as to why I picked this one up. I suppose I was intrigue...more
missART
Girl hangs out with cats, solves mysteries and kicks ass. Me gusta.
Julianna Helms
Jan 01, 2013 Julianna Helms rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of THE SELECTION and cardboard-cutout plots
Recommended to Julianna by: meselfz.
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW**

Original will be posted on my blog on January 10th, 2013, here. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)

I'm going to try really, really hard to make this review as gentle as I can let it be. But make no mistake: I did not, at all, like this book.

Let's just discard some misinformation first. That first line in the summary? "An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-sto...more
Mitch
For me at least, City of a Thousand Dolls is a cautionary tale in style versus substance. Stylistically, this is a book that hits all the right notes - it’s rich and inviting and takes inspirations from several different Asian cultures to create a rather unique reading experience; it’s certainly not a book that lacks for world building. Yet at the same time, substantively, I really don’t feel the actual story lives up to the setting; behind the exotic fashions, the politicking, and the courtesan...more
Soumi
Enriched with cultural details and patterned with vibrant descriptions, City of Thousand Dolls was an exotic fantastical story mingled with murder, mystery and ancient cults.

An isolated estate that gave refuge to orphan girl, abandoned after birth, and trains them in various arts such as music, dancing, combat etc. Sixteen years Nisha never belonged to any one particular house, making her way as Matron’s assistant. But when she began flirting with a handsome young courier, she dared to dream abo...more
Elizabeth May
There's something quite nostalgic about Miriam Forster's CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS.

I've always been a reader -- a rather voracious one -- but I remember a span of years in my early teens when reading was pretty much all I did. I read at school, my books hidden between textbooks. I read when I got home, even during meals. I read before bed, often drifting off with my head on my books, because little else lulled me to sleep.

It's difficult for me to do that anymore. Perhaps because writing is my tr...more
Cinda
A fantastical murder mystery with a creative premise, heart-pounding pacing, and characters with secrets to keep.
Gabrielle Carolina
I don't think I've ever been so disappointed. I thought for sure CITY would be amazing, that it would be a favorite of the year full of intriguing characters, luscious world building and fabulous fantasy plot threads.

Not so and I am sad, so regrettably sad to say it.

I DNF this one; by page 65 I felt I knew where the story was going, or better yet, where it wasn't going.

The narrator's voice was way too immature, and not in the way where you expect the MC to be set on a path of great growth, but...more
Liviania
Miriam Forster's debut novel is glorious. Nisha is a resident of the City of a Thousand Dolls. The city is a walled-off district for unwanted female babies, where they are raised to be skilled members of society then sold to be wives, mistresses, apprentices, and more. It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than exposure - so says the Matron, Nisha's mistress.

Nisha is more unwanted than most. She came to the city not as a baby, but a child. She has no caste. The Matron took her on as an as...more
Abbie
City of a Thousand Dolls was okay to start with, but quickly became boring.

Nisha was an alright character, but she made some very silly decisions.

The pacing was just too slow for me. I wanted to know what happened, but i didn't want to read another 200 (or so) pages to find out!
It picked up a bit when the killer was revealed, and i was quite surprised... but i still wasn't liking the book very much unfortunately.

Overall, slow and boring.
the golden witch.
You know, you'd never think that high fantasy and a murder mystery would go together very well. In "City of a Thousand Dolls", Miriam Forester very successfully combines both elements of those genres to create an awesome high fantasy jaunt with talking cats, mysterious deaths, wandering nobles and girls being trained in special houses. If you liked "Grave Mercy", "Shadow and Bone", "Girl of Fire and Thorns" and/or "Graceling", I'm pretty sure you're going to love "City of a Thousand Dolls". I kn...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I am going to be completely honest here. The sole reason I added this book to my TBR was because of that exquisite cover. It's so reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood movies ever that I knew I'd read it, no matter what it was really about. But with a gorgeous cover like that, there's little chance the book will be a big ole fail, right?



The story wasn't a failure...not really. It only failed at being the epic fantasy novel indicated by the cover, and the author even admits as much in her a...more
Natalie Aguirre
When Miriam’s publisher sent the ARC to me at the November, I planned to save it to take on my trip to China. But then, I started looking at it and immediately began reading it. And I finished it in two days. It was that good.

Miriam did a fantastic job of creating the world of the City of a Thousand Dolls, with all the smaller houses that trained girls in specialized skills, like beauty, music, and pleasure that would be useful when potential suitors came to the City once a year looking for wive...more
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: This was so different.

We are introduced to Nisha who lives in a little area called City Of A Thousand Dolls. It’s basically a small community where girls live who can be bought and who are trained in different areas.

Right from the get go, I knew this one would be unique. She can talk to cats. How awesome is that? She understands them, they understand her, how cool!

She is also seeing a young man who just happens to be royalty. She wants him to choose her as his wife.

Girls start dyin...more
Breda
This is a solid, engaging fantasy novel in the vein of Tamora Pierce (more akin to her Circle series than the Tortall books). It's not groundbreaking or trendy, but it's full of likable characters, a fascinating and well-realized world, and a mystery that has more layers to it than appear at first glance. I enjoyed it!

It's also nice to find a satisfying standalone in this era of trilogies. And I'm not so much into talking animals - even by Tamora Pierce, my love for Daine notwithstanding - but I...more
Erin
Overall, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS was an enjoyable read and offered something different to readers. It may not exactly impress those fans of epic, high fantasy and it may not have been the story I wanted it to be like, but I still found it really entertaining on a whole and sets up a great start for a potential YA series. I'm looking forward to reading more of Miriam Forster's work because I really love her writing style!

Full review: http://talesoftheinnerbookfanatic.blo...

3.5 stars!
Sarah
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
This was an okay story, but it was really, really slow.

Nisha was a bit of a baffling character. At times she was stupid, she took ridiculous risks when she didn’t need too, and she also made some seriously suspect decisions. That being said she was also loyal (to a fault), she had faith in people (even if it was misplaced), and she liked things to be right, even if she had to sacrifice herself to try and make sure that this happened.

The storyline in this wasn...more
C.J. Flood
I loved this book as soon as I began it. The world Miriam Forster creates is beautiful and mysterious and luscious, a wonderful place to lose yourself in. Lovely stuff.
Erika
Jul 21, 2012 Erika marked it as to-read
I don't know which one intrigues me more, the gorgeous cover or the catchy title.
Eden
May 25, 2012 Eden marked it as to-read
This book looks Oriental! *intrigued* Although, Y UR ROMANCE ALWAYS FORBIDDEN?
Kayla
Aug 18, 2012 Kayla marked it as to-read
DAT COVER.

DAT TITLE.

DAT BLURB.

DO WANT.
Aleeeeeza
May 26, 2012 Aleeeeeza marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2013-release
oh my, what a BEAUTIFUL cover!
Leeanna
Ever since I stumbled over the summary for CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, I wanted to read it. So I was literally jumping up and down when I saw it in my Amazon Vine picks.

Lately, books that I’ve been excited about haven’t lived up to the hype for me, so I was a bit nervous to start CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS. Happily for me, once I started, I couldn’t stop reading. I had to keep myself from reading ahead -- every time I turned the page, my eyes would be looking at the right page before I’d started the...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: A girl who’s an outcast discovers her heritage while also trying to solve a murder mystery inside the City of a Thousand Dolls.

Opening Sentence: “Don’t move, Nisha.”

The Review:

I think the synopsis is a bit misleading. I started this book thinking it was going to be about a school that trained assassins or something to that degree, but instead, the book focused on a orphaned girl with a lot of secrets. The assassins are just a small tidbit...more
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
rating 4.5

This book was awesome!! Im so glad i picked it up! And the talking cats actually make sense towards the end – surprising i know.
The only reason i didn’t give this book 5 stars is cause some things where pretty obvious and i though Nisha was a little dumb not to see it – plus her blame herself for everything and wallowing in self pity was a little annoying, i understood why she felt like that, but that didn’t change the fact it was still a tad bothersome, i think it bothered me more cau...more
Erin
Enter a lush Japanese-inspired fantasy world where you have no chance to improve your station but what you're willing to learn in the City of a Thousand Dolls. Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City as a child, and now she must uncover both her past and her destiny if she is to survive...

In the City of a Thousand Dolls there are many houses which teach different skills: the House of Jade that teaches medicine, the House of Beauty that teaches girls to be beautiful, the House of Flowers whi...more
Kandise
I have mixed feelings about this one. I can’t get over Nisha's ignorance but the end to this read wasn’t all that bad…it was almost enough to have me thinking that I wanted to read the next installment. Almost. But alas, Nisha was an idiot, even given ample opportunity to leave the city, she didn’t, she wanted to wait and see and hope and pray that good would happen to her all the while wallowing in self-pity.

She then believes that she has a purpose in finding out who the murderers were, but, sh...more
Nafiza
City of a Thousand Dolls is not…bad. It was my most anticipated book of the year and unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations but it certainly wasn’t terrible. When a novel is touted as high fantasy and comes with a synopsis like the one this one does, some expectations will latch themselves on to the book. If expectations were sentient beings that is. And sometimes it feels like they are but that’s just me being crazy. Caitlin, the awesome, picked up a copy for me at ALA and honestly...more
Olivia
I really liked City of a Thousand Dolls. I actually did not think I would, seeing as I picked it up at the library because it was the only decent-looking book I could find that I hadn't read yet, and I needed a book. Also the title deterred me a little because it made the book sound either very creepy or very boring. It was neither. Despite all this, I found myself really enjoying it. I was reading reviews on it, right after I finished it, and it sounded like some thought it was more of a Middle...more
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Miriam Forster learned to read at the age of five, wrote her first story at the age of seven and has been playing with words ever since. Her debut novel, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS is being published by HarperCollins.

In her daily life, Miriam is a wife, a terrible housekeeper and a dealer of words at the local bookshop. In her internal life, she imagines fight scenes, obsesses about anthropology, na...more
More about Miriam Forster...
Empire of Shadows (Bhinian Empire, #2)

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