Talking Cats and Murderers: A Review of CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Foster

City of a Thousand Dolls 
Miriam Foster
361 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher

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 rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

   Flowing with adventure, talking cats, and assassinated girls CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS is a fantasy book that begs to be picked up.

   When Nisha was a baby she was abandoned at the City of a Thousand Dolls, a place were girls who aren’t wanted or can’t be taken care of are sent to. Now sixteen, Nisha lives in the shadows working as Matron’s informer. Her closest friends are a tribe of cats that can talk to her in her mind.

   Soon Nisha begins questioning her mysterious past and why she was abandoned. Then things take a turn for the worst, girls are being murdered and if Nisha doesn’t find the murderer, not only will the City be shut-down but Nisha’s life will be at stake.

   CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS isn’t perfect. Miriam Foster didn’t have enough world-building, she didn’t really explain how the city looks. Another part that occasionally annoyed me was when one of the background characters said something, it seemed like they were being forced, but then, like I said, that wasn’t very often.

   The novel was pretty good for a debut, I really liked the way Miriam was able to create another race and world. Usually talking cats would get on my nerves, since I hate books where animals can talk, but since they only talked to Nisha, it was pretty cool especially with what happened in the end. You should definitely read CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, I’m pretty glad I did.


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Christianna Marks

    February 19, 2013

    This one sounds really cool! I wanna read it!

  2. Reply

    Jenea Whittington

    February 19, 2013

    I can't wait to get this one. It sounds sooo good. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. Reply

    Amicia Rai

    February 19, 2013

    Absolutely looking forward to reading this! Sounds fantastic!

    Plus, talking cats are always cute and I'm sure they must have awesome personalities… :3

  4. Reply

    Danielle D

    February 19, 2013

    I enjoyed this book also, my one main issue was there wasn't a map or any kind to follow where the houses were, but Epic Reads was nice enough to post one on thier page.

  5. Reply

    Bookluvrs Haven

    February 19, 2013

    YAY so glad you like it. I haven't read this one yet, but I am excited to get to it soon!

    Lily @ Bookluvrs Haven

  6. Reply

    Sapir V

    February 19, 2013

    Sounds absolutely awesome!! Great review (:

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  7. Reply

    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    February 19, 2013

    I wouldn't mind if cats just talked to me. I'd feel so special and I would have this army of cats to strike at any foe that tries to mess with me :P

  8. Reply

    Courtney Reads A Lot

    February 20, 2013

    I would love to be able to communicate telepathically with cats! So jealous. :P Great review Asma! Glad you liked it!

  9. Reply

    Sallie Mazzur

    February 20, 2013

    It's unfortunate that sometimes the first book in a series doesn't spend enough time on world building. If this is a series, then the author will hopefully be able to add more for the next installment, but sometimes character development and the main issue drives the plot and the world is left behind. The way I see it is, if I'm walking down the street and there's an accident in the middle of the road, I'm focused on the accident, not necessarily the scenery or the way the buildings look along the roads. You see them and you know they exist, but it's an instant gratification thing with that main focal point, whether it's an accident, or the plot of a story.

    I'll definitely check this one out. The cover reminds me of those two creepy scary statues with the death ray eyes in The Never Ending Story, and now I'm going to have nightmares remembering how scared I was when I saw it way back when.

    Thanks for sharing your review, Asma!

  10. Reply

    The Writer in the Background

    February 21, 2013

    May I ask why you hate talking animal characters?

  11. Reply

    February 24, 2013

    I like fantasy books with talking animals, so that actually makes me want to read this more haha. It's a bit disappointing that the world-building isn't complete. Still, I definitely want to read this!

  12. Reply

    Brooke DelVecchio

    March 1, 2013

    This books sounds so good. I absolutely love the cover!

  13. Reply

    Jaime Lester

    March 2, 2013

    Regardless of its imperfections, I am very much looking forward to reading this very unique story with an amazing cover. Like you, talking animals aren't usually my thing, but it sounds like it might not be a deterrent in this book. Thanks so much for the review!

  14. Reply


    March 4, 2013

    This is good news! I've been reading such mixed reviews for this book. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm really eager to dive into this one.