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 cruel.
But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.
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.
Out November, 2018
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
I enjoyed the premise of this story, it had a lot of potential and for most parts, it did well to follow through and finish completely and with resolution. However, I did find it suffered a bit from repetition that seemed forced and inconsequential. This caused the book to lag in places and probably could have had those areas left out or should have been reworked differently.
The main character was interesting enough but the secondary characters seemed more fleshed out to me. Character arcs pushed along and developed fairly well with the help of those secondary characters prompting the MC to her ultimate goal.
You hated the villain as he was written. Sadly, this story touches on several sore spots in society and its treatment toward women, the abuse of them, and the outcome of these acts of violence.
The story is sad at times, but also exciting when showing the unbelievable strength and courage of the women involved. Even with those tiny oops, the story is very interesting and the author’s voice strong and deliberate but at the same time, caring and cautious when discussing controversy issues such as rape.
I recommend this book and give it: