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 Elites
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.
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 Lanterns
A 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
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is now in my top 10 favorite books. Xeifang is a complex, dark character who tries to outrun the woman who raised her. And tries to snatch a chance to make her own future. But she ends up turning dark. The world building is precise and impeccable. This book and it’s sequel while dark, feel familiar to me. This is one of my fave books now.
Really worth the read
This turned out to be a treat! It is very slow to start, I would say it picked up around the 30% mark or so, so you have to stick with it. It’s worth it.
Xifeng is a great antiheroine. Sometimes I found myself liking her and rationalizing with her in spite of myself. There really isn’t a whole lot of YA antihero stories out there, so I’m glad I read this. All of the side characters are great. I really loved Jun, I don’t know what it is about him but he was just perfect to me.
I’m excited to see where this story goes in the sequel, I really have no idea what to expect