Title: Girls of Storm and Shadow
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: jimmy patterson
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Page Count: 416
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.
Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.
Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan is the second book of the young adult fantasy Girls of Paper and Fire series. This fantasy series is one that continues the story onward that was started in the first book so it is highly recommended to begin the series with the first books, Girls of Paper and Fire.
While this is a young adult fantasy series again I must stress these should be for the more mature audience. There are several things included in the series that deserve a bit of warning before picking it up, violence, slavery, abuse, rape along with animal cruelty.
Natasha Ngan’s world she’s created consists of three different levels to the society known as castes. First we have the Paper caste which are the lowest in the world of Ikhara, this caste consists of the humans which includes the main character Lei of the story. Then we have the Steel caste which consists of a cross between humans and demons. And then there is the Moon caste which are fully demon including the King that rules Ikhara.
The story began with Lei who was born with brilliant golden eyes which set her apart from other humans and drew the attention of the Demon guards who kidnapped her away from her family to take her as an offering to the King. Every year eight girls are taken to become the Paper Girls and served up as concubines to the King but this year Lei has become number nine.
Girls of Storm and Shadow picked up where the story had ended rejoining Lei and Wren and seemed to me to get off to a somewhat slow start from how I remembered the first book. As the book goes on I got that dreadful “middle book” feeling, the one in which it seems the second book spends half it’s time remembering the first then the other half setting up for the next book feeling as if not much of importance takes place. In the end I found this one just so-so however I’m sure those that truly loved the first may enjoy it a tad more.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Natasha Ngan is part young-adult author, part yoga-teacher, part habitual nap-taker. She grew up between Malaysia and the UK, speaking Chinese with her mother mainly as a way to talk about people without them understanding. She studied Geography at the University of Cambridge and later worked as a fashion blogger, social media consultant and freelance writer. Natasha recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand and wineglass in the other, but in reality she mostly spends her time lost on the metro and offending locals with her French.