Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review - Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)
Author: Natasha Ngan
Pages: 400
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 6th November 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honour they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.
Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after - the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, Lei 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.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley*

Lei lives in a land with different castes, some human, some demon with animal-like attributes.
Lei is human and in the lowest caste, the Paper caste.
Years ago, Lei's mother was taken in a raid and when soldiers once again come to her village, it is Lei herself who is taken. The soldiers heard rumour of a human girl with golden eyes and take her to the king's palace to become a Paper Girl, one of nine girls who will spend a year as the king's concubines while learning the skills needed to fit in at court, and giving the king whatever he wants.
While at the palace, Lei falls in love, but not with the king.
Can Lei keep her forbidden romance a secret?
Can she escape a life she doesn't want?

I was really excited to read Girls of Paper and Fire, but also hesitant because it isn't often that I enjoy hyped books as much as everyone else. Unfortunately, this was one of those occasions.
Lei and Wren were my favourite characters. I liked them both and found them interesting.
The setting was intriguing, as was the idea of demons that were human-like but had animal characteristics like cat ears or scales.
The plot was interesting but I wasn't hooked.
There were times when I found myself getting angry on behalf of the Paper Girls because of how the king treated them.
I liked the romance but it wasn't one of my favourites that I've read.
I am intrigued to see what happens in the sequel but it's not something that I will go out of my way to read.
I am disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.

Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

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