In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.
Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.
Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?
I honestly just raced through this. I didn’t feel it was quite as strong as the first book – largely because when I described it to someone I struggled to tell them what had been happening! But that aside, it’s still full of Natasha’s gorgeous writing and such a fantastic concept.
The ongoing look at mental health and dealing with trauma was AMAZING. As was the way it shows Lei and Wren’s relationship, which I adore. They are far from perfect, and each struggling with factors external to the relationship, and that shows, but the way they love each other also shows. It’s so beautifully nuanced.
I felt a little like the quest element didn’t really achieve anything, but it was nice to get to see more of the world. And more importantly how the politics is both sides plays out for the people caught between them.
Stunning and beautifully thought provoking, I can’t wait for book 3.
Buy Girls of Storm and Shadow from Amazon UK.