December 02, 2017

#BookReview: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by @jules_writes #FairyLoot

Publisher: Philomel Books
Number of Pages: 363 
Fiction Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
How I discovered or Acquired this book:
Time it took to read: 7H 26M 
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Book:
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.

About the Author:
Julie C. Dao ( is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: When I really got into this one I was really torn on whether I should love or hate Xifeng. After realizing that she was to become a villain it made more sense. This is one that made me think of Snow White but starting out with the queen before she turned evil. 

Check out author's other books or related books? I think that I will check out the next book in this series. Although it was slower than what I generally read it was very intriguing. 

Recommend this book? Yes, if you don't mind a vain main character that you realize will become evil.  With a slightly slower story then check this one out. 

Notes and Opinions: When this came in my October Fairyloot I wasn't too sure about it.  I know I wanted to read it just because of the cover which I would like to add matches the story of beauty and evil perfectly!  The story started out with me trying to learn these people's names and I ended up calling Xifeng just Feng though the entire story and I know that as soon as I am done with this review that I will probably not remember their names after about a week if even that.  At first, I kinda hated Xifeng but then I felt sorry for her and her situation and then after going through most of the story, I was torn on if I should like her, hate her, or admire her.  

This is one story that will leave you wondering these things for the main character.  The side characters were pretty much in the background other than one other character which you can check out below if you don't mind spoilers.  

**highlight for spoiler**
**The snake god was another character that was in this full on. I really hope we get some kind of novella for him as his backstory would have to be amazing! **

  But for the most part, all the other characters really took to the background of the story.  Everyone did feel well formed though so no one felt out of place etc. 

The world that the author has created was beautiful I loved all the lush descriptions and the creatures that she created.  I can't wait to see more of this world. The journey that the characters took early on was great. It flowed well and gave you a little history of this world. I really enjoyed how it was hashed out in a way to make it flow and not feel like the author was just dumping a lot of information on us. 

At one point in this book, I really wondered if I just wanted to DNF it but chose not to and I have to say that I am glad that I didn't because I would have been missing out on a wonderful story.  

**Highlight for Spoiler**
**The one thing that I did have an issue with is the fact that Xifeng went for the Emporer I kept hoping that she would go for the prince. And when that didn't happen I was slightly disappointed. I know that the Emporer wasn't that much older than Xifeng but still it was a little off-putting. I hope to see more of the Prince in book two.**

The ending was beautiful and that is where I really started seeing the retelling thing. The ending was almost perfect and I really can't wait for the next one. 

Go Into This One Knowing:  Slower story, Good vs. Evil, No cliffhanger, No real love triangle 


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