“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.”
-Synopsis taken from Goodreads
Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review! This time I read Fairyloot’s October choice, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, with my Discord channel’s book club!
“She would bloom where she was planted and let her roots close around the throats of her enemies.”
Stars (Out of 10): 7/10 Stars
Favorite Character: Gotta say Shiro, only character who didn’t seem super evil? (Oh and the Crown Prince, he was decent too)
Spoiler Free: Now I’m not going to say this is the best release of 2017, because it really wasn’t. But I will say that this was a very enjoyable read, and it’s still messing with me right now.
Xifeng is not an MC that you necessarily want to live up to, but she’s amazing because of that. She is strong and powerful yes, but she is also selfish, shallow, and to be honest, more than a little bit evil. Getting to be inside her brain was downright scary at points, but that just contributed to the uniqueness of this book. The book still wants you to support her, and this creates almost an inner battle within us. Do we support this women, ready to do anything to follow her destiny, or do we support those that try to bring her down?
But the characters was not the only thing this book had going for it. While I did find the plot predictable at points, and not necessarily the book’s strongest trait, I absolutely loved the world. While it could have been more developed, I really enjoyed a book that just seemed fully immersed in the world’s culture. It didn’t stop to explain every little thing, it just existed, and that made the story flow pretty well in my opinion.
Lastly, this book went super fast. The more simple level of writing, when compared to Laini Taylor’s Strange The Dreamer and Maggie Stiefvater’s All The Crooked Saints at least, fits well to the story, but also makes it not that difficult to digest, meaning I actually finished this quite quickly! Overall, in terms of language and writing style, it felt like just your average YA fantasy.
Careful! Spoilers beyond this point!