I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire #1
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 6th November 2018
Genres: Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: from Netgalley
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honour they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.
Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after - the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king's interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable - she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.
I requested this book from Negtgalley because I loved the cover. I admit I didn’t read the blurb I just loved the cover. I then got the book in one of my Fairyloot boxes. If you haven’t seen this edition it’s GORGEOUS! This has been on my TBR pile ever since. With the second book coming out soon ( yes I bought the FL version before I read this, what can I say I am a sucker for pretty books!)
While the cover may be pretty the story is anything but. I warn you now that the way women are treated in this book is vile. The women are treated as less than human and are essentially told to be grateful. I know that this has put a lot of people off so I am putting that warning out there. The darker parts of this book are not explicitly described but the aftermath/fall out of these are. For me, I could see past this to what the book was trying to tell us. Our main character Lei isn’t about to lay down and take this, quite literally. What Lei tries to tell us is that we all deserve the freedom to make our own choices in life. I really like Lei she is very inspiring.
This book has a lot of world-building and you need to concentrate at the beginning to work out who is who but it’s easily picked up.
The story has a slow beginning but is soon full of action. There are many parts of this book that are difficult to read but the message is so powerful. I was on edge and holding my breath so many times throughout this book.
After that ending, I CANNOT wait for the second book which I hope arrives with me soon. I NEED to know what happens next (yes the caps are necessary)
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: