Forest of A Thousand Lanterns

Forest of A Thousand Lanterns

Rise of the Empress Series, Book 1

eBook - 2017
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The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress."A richly developed fantasy world . . . Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch."—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young ElitesEighteen-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. Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.Praise for Forest of a Thousand LanternsA Junior Library Guild Selection"A richly developed fantasy world coupled with an ambitious anti-heroine of complex agency, this story shines and surprises at every turn. Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch."—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites★ "A masterful reimagining of the early life of Snow White's Evil Queen."—Booklist, starred review★ "Lushly written . . . tantalizing reading."—Publishers Weekly, starred review"Rich in detail and full of gore and blood, this dark novel will satisfy 'Game of Thrones' fans."—School Library Journal"A stunning reimagining of the Evil Queen. Filled with treacherous courtesans, dark magic, terrible choices, and bloody hearts, Julie Dao's exquisite take on this classic villain rises far above the average retelling."—Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval"Magnetic, seductive, and alluring, Dao's Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is a lush, captivating read about desire and the lengths to which we will go to find our true destiny."—S. Jae-Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9781524738303
Branch Call Number: E-Book TEEN
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource

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PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 17, 2018

An amazing book. When we think of characters growing and learning, it's usually something positive... Not here. Xifeng starts out as a girl in love with a boy, Wei. She's physically abused by her aunt/Guma, while at the same time her Guma reads her cards and tells her that she is destined for ... Read More »


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PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 17, 2018

An amazing book. When we think of characters growing and learning, it's usually something positive... Not here. Xifeng starts out as a girl in love with a boy, Wei. She's physically abused by her aunt/Guma, while at the same time her Guma reads her cards and tells her that she is destined for greatness, but not without sacrifice. Coming from a provincial village, Xifeng takes her first ride out of town, on the arm of Wei, but it soon becomes clear that their goals are not the same. Xifeng is taken by the idea of the future she has seen in the cards. While there are hints that this is a magical world, through the reading of the cards, it is in the forest that it becomes clear that magic is real and Xifeng has some sort of magic in her, or working through her. The story becomes a question of how far will Xifeng "help" herself along the path to greatness, and what will she sacrifice to gain it.

Retellings have become a hot commodity. I liked that this was one I didn't recognize as a retelling until I got to the very end. The character development is terrific. It's easy to like Xifeng, flaws and all, because she comes across as a very real human. She doesn't overcome vanity, or jealousy, easily, but she is smart and beautiful. Dao makes us pity and in some cases, identify with Xifeng, as she questions her vanity, jealousy and temper, while dealing with her task master, Guma. From that point, it is easy to understand each step she takes, until, as a reader, you reach a point of "what the heck happened here?!".

The storyline is well-plotted. The world is interesting and develops as we meet characters instead of having long exposition on the different kingdoms. My only disappointment was that the end felt rushed. Instead of long passages with dialogue, like we have earlier, suddenly we see things only from Xifeng's point of view and it jumps from scene to scene, sometimes skipping weeks or months. Overall, that's not enough to make me not recommend this novel. And I'm looking forward to the next installment!

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