Girls of Paper and Fire By Natasha Ngan
YA. Sexual Abuse. Fantasy.
Great story idea that didn’t deliver.
In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she 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.
Such a beautiful world. A lovely story. But too much fluff.
At first, reading Girls of Paper and Fire was beautiful. The rich descriptions of the setting put you right there. I felt like I was in a magical version of Memoirs of a Geisha. Then, I wondered where we were going and if we were ever going to get there.
The themes were slammed down your throat. We get it. Tell the story.
At around 60% I just wanted it to be over. And the last page? I rolled my eyes. I like a good cliche as well as the next, but there was just too much. Unfortunately, I just don’t care enough to find out what happens in the next book.
Give Wren her own story; the story of her life leading to the palace, and I’ll pick that up.
Happy Reading 🙂