AUTHOR: Natasha Ngan
PUBLICATION DATE: November6th, 2018
PUBLISHER: Jimmy Patterson
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Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.
In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.
Trigger Warnings: violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault
RATING: 5/5 STARS
I could not put this book down. I was invested in the characters from page one. The world is so complex and combined Asian cultures very well. It felt like I lived in that world and I was witnessing everything right in front of my eyes, so I really want a movie to be made for this book.
The character of Lei was perfect. She was equally scared as she was badass, which I loved. It feels like such characters can only be portrayed as strong, which is absolutely not true. Even the other characters were really well developed, and it felt like I knew them all. I actually forgot that this was a sapphic (f/f) romance, so seeing it was such a nice surprise. For a little while, I thought she’d fall in love with the king, but I’m glad that didn’t happen.
The world meshed really well with the plot. It was realistic, but also fantastical. The plot was really well thought out, but I expected the ending. I felt like that could have been a little different, but it’s a minor thing.
I also really liked Ngan’s writing style. It wasn’t lyrical, but it went really well with Lei.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was one of my most anticipated reads, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I highly recommend it if you’re on the fence about it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post! Please leave a comment so I can show my appreciation! Hope you have/had a good day!