Kiran wrote... The Girl of Ink & Stars


Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Prize 2017 and the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, a Financial Times Book of the Year, twice-Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month, nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Award, shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and the Branford Boase Award.

They say the day the Governor arrived, the ravens did too. All the smaller birds flew backwards into the sea, and that is why there are no songbirds on Joya. Only huge, ragged ravens…

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.

A beautifully written and lyrical story of friendship, discovery, myths and magic – perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Frances Hardinge or Katherine Rundell.

Available from all good bookshops, including WaterstonesBlackwellsFoyles, and many more.


I loved it. Gripping, enjoyable . . . beautifully written.

Malorie Blackman,

Exquisitely poised between sweetness and darkness, this is a novel that revels in the power of myth and storytelling … The description “magical” is overused but genuinely applies to this book, a sweet and savage tale about a cartographer’s daughter, map-mad Isabella, who helps investigate the death of a classmate in the hellish heart of her island home. Millwood Hargrave has written a forceful, memorable work of fantasy.

Financial Times, Books of the Year

[R]eminiscent of fantasy greats such as Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman.

The Times, Saturday Review

Set in a vividly realised parallel world laced with magical realism, this is a mesmerising debut of maps, myths and girls of enormous courage.

The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice

A fine mix of magic and adventure with a captivating heroine – enthralling and engrossing by turns.

Celia Rees, author of Witch Child

The Girl of Ink & Stars was a mesmerising, enchanting debut, full of adventure and fire and heart. It reads like a fairytale that’s 1000 years old … an absolute jewel of a book, as vivid and real and the maps inside it. It’s a classic in the making and I know I’ll be re-reading it again and again.

Melinda Salisbury, author of Song of Sorrow