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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns | Julie C. Dao
108 posts | 75 read | 3 reading | 134 to read
The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical 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. Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.
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asterese
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"Isn‘t it better to wake up each day, living for the present rather than waiting for the future?"

(Re-reading this ?)

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asterese
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There's this #ThreeOfAKindBookChallenge happening over in IG where people choose three books that share a common theme. I went for Asian-inspired fantasy. 🎐🏮

I'm hoping to read The Girl King soon, and the second book in The Dandelion Dynasty next year. I've finished the Rise of the Empress duology, and now I'm wondering if I should get a copy of the first book that matches with the cover design of the second.

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Princess.ofthe.pages
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Pickpick

This was an awesome retelling of the Evil Queen. I love the way the cliff hanger at the end carries the intent of Xifeng‘s journey to true power isn‘t over.

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BookishRedhead
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Been eyeing this up for a while, decided to order it online cheap.
Didn't know it was signed!
Booya! Great surprise for a Yule present

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pythoness
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Time for something new! God, I love libraries.

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Glaeken
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Pickpick

A friend of mine mentioned this book and I was intrigued so I added it to my TBR and yesterday finally started reading it. Just finished it today and I have it today, the entire book had me hooked. I am enjoying this series so much so that I am now reading the second book in the series.

#forestofathousandlanterns #juliecdao #riseofanempress #goodreadschallenge #2019reads

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hes7
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It‘s a stair day with this audiobook. #audiohiking #bookfitnesschallenge #bfc

LibrarianRyan you go girl.! 4y
TheSpineView Good job! 4y
wanderinglynn Wow! Way to challenge yourself! 🙌🏻 4y
See All 18 Comments
Shley9225 Whoa where is this? 4y
Caterina Amazing!! ❤ Way to step it up!! 😉 Where is this? 4y
mabell 😳 That sounds intense! 4y
OrangeMooseReads Whoa! That sounds rough ... way to go! (edited) 4y
Emilymdxn Wow well done! 4y
CoverToCoverGirl Outstanding! 4y
Beatlefan129 The Manitou Incline is no joke, good for you! 4y
jillannjohn Wow. Great job! 4y
Itchyfeetreader Well done ! Steps are my personal hell 4y
BethM 🎊 4y
alisiakae Good luck! I've done the Eiffel Tower steps, and that was tough! Although, I did have a foldable stroller on my back at the time. 😆 4y
marleed Wowza! 4y
BookwormAHN Great job 👏🏻 4y
guinsgirlreads Wow! WTG!! 4y
Ash.on.the.line Wow! Truly a workout! Great job! 4y
97 likes18 comments
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wanderinglynn
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Panpan

I slogged through it. A lot of promise but it ultimately failed to deliver. I was bored reading it. My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2812196240

#MayScavengerHunt - number in title & flower on cover
#MayMadness week 2 - new to me author

BillBlume I‘m so sad you didn‘t like it. Was one of my favorites from 2017. 4y
wanderinglynn @BillBlume It just fell flat for me. But I was looking at the GR reviews & a lot of people loved it. So maybe I‘m in the minority on this one. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 4y
alisiakae That‘s a shame! This one is on my #TBR 4y
wanderinglynn @4thhouseontheleft Yeah, I hate giving negative reviews, but it just didn‘t work for me. But a lot of people did like it. 4y
90 likes1 stack add4 comments
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alisonrose
Pickpick

This was definitely the twisted AF story I was hoping for—I do enjoy following a villain, & when Xifeng really starts to give into her dark side, shit got good. I also loved the setting & imagery, & telling this tale thru an East Asian lens was terrific. However it did drag in the middle (as many fantasy books are wont to do) & some characters felt quite 2D. (Also the horsey demon people, just NO 🐴🙅🏻‍♀️) But def gonna read the next one! 3/5 ⭐️

26 likes1 stack add
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alisonrose

“I am the moon and the darkness around it,” Xifeng hissed in that ancient, ageless voice. “I am the wind and the rain and the ceaseless sea. I am time itself, and yours is running out.”

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alisonrose

“Being underestimated can be a blessing in disguise,” Xifeng said. “That is to say, it gives us a chance to astonish those who doubt our true worth.”

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jmtrivera
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Mehso-so

Despite my fondness for retellings, not crazy about this. Xifeng starts the book already growing power-hungry & appearance-obsessed. While she has pangs of conscience, they don't stop her using Wei to jumpstart her journey. From there, she only grows less likable. I could've coped if there'd been something else to enjoy, but the politics & backstabbing were exhausting. The world-building is very interesting, but I was left feeling neutral overall.

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alisonrose

I have seen how humans adapt to a cruel world. I have watched this continent of peace and plenty become the grasping, violent place it is now.

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alisonrose
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Ready for another dark twisted fantasy retelling, and intrigued by it being reimagined through East Asian mythology.

34 likes1 stack add
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AutumnRLS
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Book mail this week. #heyya

9 likes1 stack add
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mdemanatee
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This is well-written so far, and I do enjoy a good antihero. But I admit to struggling with this one a bit because there doesn‘t seem to be much to our heroine outside of her “fate” and her faith in it. I like to see characters start to make morally questionable choices for reasons they feel are truly right. And her ambition could be right but there‘s not enough exploration of it.

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StephanieMarie
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Just realized I finished all the #booked2019 #winter prompts with that last book!
Female Detective: The Moor by Laurie R. King
Fairy Tale Retelling: tagged book
Happy Place: Dewey by Vicki Myron
Podcast: Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Set in Ireland: The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
New to me: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

19 likes2 comments
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StephanieMarie
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Pickpick

Great book! I love a good villian retelling, especially when I'm both angry at the main character and still somehow rooting for her at the same time. Xifeng is infuriatingly flawed in this Evil Queen (Snow White) retelling set in a fantasy kingdom inspired by Asian culture.

#fairytaleretelling for #Booked2019 . It could also work for #POCparanormal if anyone is working on the autumn prompts. I'll probably use the second one for that.

StephanieMarie Also either a book you meant to read in 2018 or #debutnovel for #pop19 I haven't decided which. 4y
Cinfhen Lots of options 😍 4y
StephanieMarie @Cinfhen yeah for sure! It fits more for popsugar too those are just the two I'm deciding between. 4y
16 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Sara_Planz
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Pickpick

I absolutely adored this retelling of the Evil Queen and cannot wait to start the sequel!!!

32 likes1 stack add
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Sara_Planz
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Everyone raves about this one. I have both books that are currently out so I can read them back to back!!!

37 likes1 stack add
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amb
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Pickpick

This book reads like an Asian origin story for the evil queen in Snow White. And I think that was intended. The language and word building were simply amazing. It‘s as if you believe you are reading a retelling, but just the merest threads attach to the original story. Everything is that unique and absorbing. There is a sequel to this which I haven‘t read that I expect will be the other half of the Snow White mythology.

32 likes1 stack add
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jmtrivera
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For the FIRST TIME EVER, I won a round of #BookBingo! Along the two books I posted about on Saturday, I finished #BookOver500Pages and #BookWithMagic yesterday.
I now have A LOT of reviews to write, so sorry if you follow my Goodreads page! (I copy them to Litsy more slowly, so you all don't get completely slammed here with my stuff.)
#HalfBloodBingo

Merethebookgal YAAAAY!!!! 🎉 📚 4y
AlizaApp Yay Jeannette!! 4y
27 likes2 comments
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lesliemarie
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"Which young adult book cover matches your personality"

Ok. I'm not quiet. But ok.

https://www.epicreads.com/blog/book-cover-personalities/

hermyknee Oh fun! I got 4y
Crazeedi Dread nation! 4y
lesliemarie I read tons of YA but I have not read any of these books! I must be slacking. 4y
54 likes4 comments
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janeycanuck
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Pickpick

Between a pick and ask-so for me but I rounded up to a pick because it‘s not really the kind of book I go for. The audio narrator was excellent and the writing was equally as good.

First book finished for #24B42019 and my second-to-last #ReadHarder book

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janeycanuck
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My stack for #24B42019 - the paper books, ebook & audio on the right are my “must get throughs” for various reasons and if I finish all of them, I‘ll start on the stack on the left.

AlaMich I thought Angelmaker was a great book! It‘s pretty bananas, so be prepared for that!! 😊 4y
janeycanuck @AlaMich pretty bananas is a perfect description! Finished it earlier this week 😊 4y
AlaMich @janeycanuck What did you think? 4y
28 likes3 comments
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bookwrm526
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Mehso-so

This one has been on my TBR for a while and I needed a book for the Murderino challenge with forest in the title, so I picked it up. I was...underwhelmed? Some aspects of the world were intriguing, but in the end I didn‘t really feel like rooting for any of the characters. I don‘t mind unlikeable characters but I need ONE I can get behind! Can‘t decide if I‘ll continue the series or not. #ssdgmchallenge

Gissy The book was so-so but the photo is beautiful! 😍 4y
bookwrm526 @Gissy thank you 😊 that‘s the one plus side to having an early class every day this semester! 4y
34 likes2 comments
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lizru
Pickpick

Loved it so much I‘m reading it again before the second one comes out

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AlaMich
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An irritated Maddie models my new read, heartily recommended by both Amanda and Jenn on #bookriot. It‘s a #ya Asian retelling of the Evil Queen of Snow White fame. It‘s gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but I think it will pick up soon. #catsoflitsy #fairytales

Tanzy13 🐱 4y
45 likes1 comment
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LiterRohde
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The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover art.

Then, I found out what it was about - Snow White set in East Asia.

Those who know me will know that familiar stories told in a new way are one of my favorites.

Also intriguing is the focus of the story - the origin story of the Evil Queen.

The sequel, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, is out in November.

#YAWednesday

📷: Google Books

398.2 I have been wanting to read this. I love Retellings. 😀 (edited) 4y
jillrhudy I like retellings too! 4y
TheFunkyBookworm I am loving this synopsis! 4y
75 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Audrey
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this story of Snow White's stepmother and her struggles to make a better life for herself. While she is the classic anti-heroine, this backstory gives more insight as to why Xifeng made the choices she did. As she reminds us, the men in her life, including her love, all try to control or own her. She has to fight for her own path and ambition.

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nelehelen
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Mehso-so

2.5/5
I was super excited to read this and wanted to love it. But, unfortunately, this was just so “meh” for me. I hated the MC, which may have been the intention but I wish she was more complex and had more layers. I‘m sure her inner conflicts were supposed to add depth, but none of it seemed genuine. Even her relationship with her main love interest seemed superficial and forced. So, this book was just so-so for me.

#LRC2018
#Bookes2018

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ThatBookishGal
Pickpick

It was the teens choice for the next book club book. I was a little skeptical, but I ended up really enjoying it! The book appears to be setting up for a fairy-tale retelling with a twist (I won‘t say what!). This was an enjoyable start to a new series!

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nelehelen
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Book & Breakfast 😁

(Finally getting to read one of the books I got from @mrsmarch - thank you!!)

#Booked2018
#LRC2018

mrsmarch Yay! And a yummy breakfast too! 4y
emilyhaldi Pretty 😍 4y
nelehelen @mrsmarch it sure was yummy! 😬😉 4y
nelehelen @emilyhaldi 😬😉😘 4y
32 likes1 stack add4 comments
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toastyfrog
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Pickpick

What can I say about this book ? An amazing and terrifying triumph of a book! The rise of the Empress in a retelling of the story of Snow White like I've never read before !

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lisslalissar
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Mehso-so

This was an interesting premise, but so slow! It took me five months to read it because I just felt no impetus to continue the story. The last fifty pages where things finally start happening are great, but I think it focused too much on character development at the expense of plot. A setup series starter.

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Expandingbookshelf
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Pickpick

This book is some Slytherin realness and I am here 👏🏻 for 👏🏻 it👏🏻 (and not just because of the 🐍 cover)

What books would you recommend to House Slytherin?

morevna Omg I love the question!! Probably Vicious from V.E. Schwab, or Sometimes I lie 🤔 depends on the genre. What would you recommend to a fellow Slytherin? 4y
Expandingbookshelf @morevna oh, Sometimes I Lie is such a good choice! I‘d go with The Library at Mount Char. It‘s absolutely bonkers and full of Slytherins. Or Fingersmith! 4y
7 likes2 comments
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elkeOriginal
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Panpan

I know people enjoy a backstory of well-known villains. I, apparently, do not.
Xifeng is fated to become the evil queen of Snow White fame—but I found her reasons for embracing darkness & cruelty unimpressive. She was all over the place emotionally & there were too many annoying contradictions for me to care. She & her BFF just felt like imperial court mean girls. I can respect a quality villain (Lady Sun) but I was bored by Xifeng‘s beauty BS.

aeeklund I totally had trouble with this one, too. DNF. 5y
elkeOriginal @aeeklund I almost DNF‘d but kept hoping to get something out of it! She‘s a #garbageperson. But not even an interesting one. 5y
See All 7 Comments
aeeklund @elkeo I‘m trying to decide if I want to push through it, since I just got the arc of the sequel/companion (about the Snow White character). Not sure... 5y
elkeOriginal @aeeklund That is tough because I think the sequel should be good/better - when she gets what deserves! 5y
Jess_Read_This 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼Yes!!! Perfectly said review! Lady Sun was a quality villain... better than reading about Xifeng‘s whining, emotional neediness, and truly she didn‘t bring much to the table w power 5y
ScorpioBookDreams I‘ve got this on my TBR but I don‘t think I‘ll rush to read it now! 5y
48 likes7 comments
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annalibris
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Pickpick

I wasn‘t sure that I was going to like this, but I did. The main character is unpleasant, vain, and dangerously ambitious, but also compelling. I may even read the next one, just find out what happens to her.

3 likes1 stack add
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elkeOriginal
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Starting this.
I have seen reviews that go both ways so ...🤞🏻

#bookanistabookclub #bbc #bookanistabereading

aeeklund Reeeeeally interested to hear what you think... 5y
morevna Have heard mixed reviews too, but it does sound intriguing! Have yet to read it. 5y
58 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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annalibris
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I‘m struggling with this one. I‘m nearly halfway through, so I‘ll probably finish it, but I‘m having difficulty liking the main character. She‘s selfish and kind of unpleasant, and although she‘s perfectly well aware of this, she continues to make choices that will hurt the people who care about her. And it‘s the first in a series.

Yeah_I_Read I felt exactly the same way lol but apparently it‘s supposed to be like that. It‘s supposed to be like how the bad guy got to be the bad guy kind of thing 5y
annalibris Yeah, I already refused to read Marissa Meyer‘s Fairest on the grounds that it wouldn‘t make me like Levana any more than I already did (which is to say, not at all), so I‘m having mixed feelings about this one, too. 5y
2 likes2 comments
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Jess_Read_This
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Mehso-so

3⭐️ish..I struggled to like this one as much as I wanted to. The main character wasn‘t entirely likable for me. A reimagining of how the evil Queen came to be in the classic story of Snow White. The story is full of courtly intrigue, magic, murder, and character struggles between good and evil.

#BookanistaBookClub #BookanistasBeReading

elkeOriginal Starting this today... 5y
76 likes1 comment
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Laalaleighh
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Anyone else thrown off by the cover switch/mc switch/ time jump apparently happening for this book?

I was not ready to move on from Xifeng and her rise as empress yet and the original cover was gorgeous.

Jess_Read_This I just ordered Lanterns today from the library. It sounds so good! 5y
42 likes1 comment
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iUhndreah
Pickpick

its a parade of Power, Ambition, Wit and Drive to achieve the destiny that lays before you. If a book is to enter Hogwarts, this will be definitely be sorted into Slytherin house, as its just so cunning. its an exquisite re-telling of the Evil Queen's story. Its not a usual struggle between good and evil, Its a struggle to BE good or evil.
The plot seems really vast and there is so much more to explore. Cant wait for the next book!

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specklife
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Pickpick

Xifeng is a stone cold bitch in this YA tale of the ultimate anti-heroine and her ambition to become Empress of her land.
⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

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BookBelle84
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Pickpick

This was between a pick and a so-so for me. I loved the world building but I found the story very slow to get going and there was a lack of character development for some of the characters. However, there was also some beautiful writing and an original Evil Queen story.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

I liked this book, with its scheming and ambitious main character. She is not all good and she is not all nice but she is very interesting. Always fun to read an anti-hero story.

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KatCho
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Pickpick

I am always down for a YA fantasy and doubly down for one that draws inspiration from historic things like the silk road and East Asian cultures. Plus this is a retelling of the rise of the evil queen from Snow White! Love!

BillBlume Loved this book. Can‘t wait to read the second book. 5y
RaimeyGallant Great reviews. :) And welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. 5y
ReadingOver50 Lovely photo 5y
6 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bindrosbookshelf
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Pickpick

Review is up on the blog if you are interested!
This is an East Asian inspired retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White, or in this case, the Empress.

I loved the battle between power and love, with the main character losing her humanity, the more she gave into the dark magic and her ambition. I loved that the boy didn‘t save the day in this one, or that the main character didn‘t give it all up for love. 4 Stars.
#jades2018reads

20 likes2 stack adds
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amrrruuuta
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My #24in48 stack!

19 likes1 stack add
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Victoriahoperose
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Mehso-so

I‘m trying to read different genres than my norm, so I gave this fantasy YA a shot. The writing was very good, but I found it a bit hard to follow. I did have some fun doing a coloring page from a book a friend gave me!

Purrfectpages Love the sentiment! 🍷 5y
16 likes1 comment