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
Author: Julie C. Dao
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.