The Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Summary:

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.

The Review:

This is a book that I heard so many good things about. Just to let you know that there is a really graphic rape scene in the book for trigger warning.

It is set in world in which some women are seen as concubines to the demon king, and eight girls are chosen to do so. Lei, a member of the paper caste is one of the eight chosen. She is also dealing with some trauma at the start of the book. For one being in a the paper caste which is one of the lowest caste also when she was young her mother was taken by royal guards.

Once the demon king takes the young girls they are sent to live in the palace for a year and having a “sort of” life of luxury, and their role is the serve the demon king and do anything he asks them. A lot of the young girls was very well developed. My favorites were Wren and Zelle.

A lot of the first half of the book is introducing Lei, to the world of the palace, and also meeting the other girls who serve the demon king as well as learning a lot of the rules of the courts.

What I loved about the story is that very rich world building. It is an own voices Asian inspired fantasy, which gave a good amount of back story without feeling like info dumping. The caste system I thought added a lot more weight into the world especially when seeing a lot of the higher castes mainly the Steele caste who are half human and half demon  and the Moon caste which is entirely of demons.

The romance was another highlight of the book. While it does deal with a forbidden f/f romance I like the fact that there are stakes involved with the romance and how Lei begins to bond with her and fall in love. Knowing that there are future books I want to see how the romance flourishes. It shows that a romance can be so well developed and you want to root for the happy couple.

One of the main themes of the book, is the theme of trauma and how it affects people. Especially with the issue of sexual assault and male “ownership” of a woman’s body. It also draws on themes of trauma and PTSD, and trying to survive in a dark and messed up world, and having someone you love helping you against the world.

In the end, Girls of Paper and Fire, was a fantastic debut fantasy novel. It introduces you to lust fantasy world, with great characters and a loving romance. It should be a start to a great series.

Grade: 5/5

 

 

March wrap up/April TBR

Wow, March is almost over and spring is finally coming.

I am happy to share what I read for the month of March and also what I plan on reading in April.

What I read in March.

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This year I started reading graphic novels again, and I am enjoying them. With Paper Girls calling it a girl version of Stranger Things would be an understatement. I kinda want to talk about it, but I don’t want to go into spoiler entire. But this is a series I am happy to recommend to people.

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Another graphic novel that I picked up from the library sort of like a prep school that is not what it seems but the mystery of the first volume is enough to keep me intrigued.

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In my quest to discover Cassandra Clare and the world of the shadowhunter universe. After reading the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series and really enjoyed them, but I love the Infernal devices so far. It was nice to see a good prequel to the shadow hunter universe.

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Also in my quest for reading Cassandra Claire I read City of Fallen Angels. While not my favorite in the series so far the ending had my intigued.

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Lives up to the hype! This was one of my favorites of this year. A Review will be coming up later this week.

April TBR

These are the books I plan to read in April

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As a Sci Fi fan, it surprises me that I never read any Ann Leckie. I heard nothing but great things about this book, and she is an author I have been dying to read.

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A couple years back I read A Star Touched Queen, and I enjoyed it, and I have been meaning to pick up the series again so I am excited to see a new series by her, which is different from Star Touched Queen but I am excited to read it.

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A saw the trailer to the show, and I immediately wanted to read it. It is hard to believe that I still never read Neil Gaiman before and I hope this will be a good one.

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I read the Hate U Give and absolutely loved it, and I want to see Angie Thomas’s next book.

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Okay, so this was a cover purchase. It was a used book I picked up at my local bookstore, and its a dark fantasy that I always love.

Those are the books I read in March and may read in April. What’s on your April TBR, let me know in the comments below.

WWW Wednesday 3/12/2019

Happy Wednesday everyone,

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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Late last year I finally decided to enter the Shadowhunter world and started reading The Mortal Instruments, the first three books anyway, and I really enjoyed them so far and finally seeing what the hype is about.

I am currently loving it so far, and I see why people love Jem so much, and it also gives us another glimpse in the Shadowhunter world.

What did you recently finish reading?

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I really loved this book. The world is amazing, and I love the romance between the characters.  A very well written Asian inspired fantasy dealing with concubines to the Demon King.

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After reading the first volume of Papergirls, I can honestly say that I am a fan of Brian K. Vaughn. I would sort of describe it as a sort of girl version of Stranger Things, while also maybe dealing with time travel. I really want to keep reading this series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I bought this book during my Amazon gift card haul because I was very intrigued by the premise, especially since I am a fan of twisted fairy tales.

That is my WWW Wednesday. What books are you currently reading? What have you recently finished and what will you be reading next? Let me know in the comments below!