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Friday, October 27, 2017

Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication date: 10/10/17
Series: Rise of the Empress, #1
Source: Bought
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
First off, this book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I honestly don’t recall reading a story through the eyes of an anti-heroine. But gosh darn it, I enjoyed every page of this book. Dao’s writing is impressive and captivating. I couldn’t put this book down if I wanted to!

Xifeng’s journey was dark and twisted and I LOVED it! I never thought I would be rooting for someone to partake in nefarious activities to achieve power. Dao did not disappoint in crafting this beautifully vivid world with complex characters, fascinating, culture, and flawless plot.

That ending couldn’t have been more perfect. I didn’t want the story to end and after I turned the last page, I just wanted more of this richly imagined book that is PERFECTION. This book for sure is in my top 10 books of 2017.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


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