Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1)-Book Review

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)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.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by

Julie C. Dao

FIZAH (4)Author: Julie C. Dao

Pages: 363

Publishing Date: October 10th,2017

Publisher: Philomel Books


By Disclaimer, it seems as evil queen’s retelling, which is set in East Asia, I was quite excited to read the background story of Evil Queen.

“She would wrap her coils around him in tender confinement and be not his captive, but his captor.”

It full fills what it promised as being East Asian fantasy, It was cultural and author focused on details but it wasn’t executed well enough for me, It had the potential…The biggest problem of this book was the pace, First half was so dragged and I also felt thin were un-necessarily repeated again and again. characters were one-dimensional and irritating, If you are only reading it for re-telling sake don’t get your expectations so high, it took 3/4 of the book to finally reach something similar to Evil queen’s story.

But that Crown Prince, Seriously who told a stranger all the family secrets 😐

“If my beauty is my greatest weapon, vanity is the shield that protects me.” 

The second half was better than the first one, Pace was ok, there was development in stories and characters, which was interesting to read. But so many filler characters.

Xifeng character is one of the most confused characters I’ve ever read, Her actions are different than her words, It seems like everyone is rotating around her, It was so easy for her to get anything she wanted in a kingdom, Either People ruling there were so stupid or her beauty is so ENCHANTING (I couldn’t digest her beauty power, I mean HOW?).

“There was something unfinished about not saying farewell, like a door left open in the chill night.” 

Overall it was an average read for me.

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. Bummer it wasn’t more of a “wow” read for you! On to the next one 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I have been eyeing this one but pace is a big thing for me so I may backburner this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds interesting. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll like it more than me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Empress DJ says:

    I don’t think this one is for me – thanx for the honest review

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t a good one.


  5. Bookworms corner blog spot says:

    It sounds like you did a good job getting through the first part. I am impressed that you stuck it out. I think I would have given up. I don’t generally DNF but I have made exceptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am trying to not DNF so many books that’s why I am pushing my self even in average books but skim reading always helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This book had been on my TBR since before it came out but everything you mentioned is why I haven’t picked it up yet. I was worried it would be exactly that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is just an average read nothing to remember after a few days.


  7. Christine says:

    Just kind of skimmed the review cause I am hoping to read this soon. I’m sad it was just an average read for you. Hopefully your next book is a better one!


  8. Sorry to hear this one was only average for you. I adore the Evil Queen and have wanted to read this one since I first heard about it (and saw that gorgeous cover!). Great review 🙂

    Megan – Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Veronica The Burgeoning Bookshelf says:

    I want this, if only for that gorgeous cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the cover is gorgeous 🙂


  10. Jordanne says:

    This sounded so promising, shame it didn’t follow through – great review though!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Awesome review! Thls book is on my TBR mountain.

    Liked by 1 person

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