Title: Girls Of Paper And Fire
Author: Natasha Ngan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Buy Book: Amazon
Review: First off, I just want to thank Fairyloot for including this in the October box because if they hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have even thought about reading this and I also wouldn’t have received such a stunning copy either!
In ‘Girls Of Paper And Fire’, each year, eight (8) girls are chosed to become essentially concubines to the Demon King and whilst there they must attend to his needs. However, this year there are nine (9).
Our main character Lei is a member of the paper caste (fully human), the lowest class in the Kingdom next to Steel Case (part human, part demon) and then the highest class; Moon Caste (fully demon). After being taken away from her family, Lei is taken away to The Hidden Palace where she along with the eight other girls are put through vigorous training to become the King’s consort however, Lei doesn’t do anything without putting up a fight and she does the one thing she shouldn’t do – she falls in love. Whilst trying to hide her forbidden romance from everyone else, a huge plot threatens the whole kingdom and everyone knows it. Lei must decide how far she will go for justice and revenge.
The first thing I loved about this book was the numerous trigger warnings that the author places at the beginning of the book because this novel is quite hard hitting and heavy at times. Natasha Ngan deals with some seriously hard topics in this novel and it makes me so happy that she has taken the time to warn readers about it before they go into it as it can be extremely triggering for some people.
Not going to lie, at the beginning of the book I was slightly disappointed because it took me a while to actually get into it and I feel there were parts I probably missed because I wasn’t completely pulled in to the story however within the first couple of chapters I was hooked! Natasha Ngan does such an incredible job with her world building and she writes so vividly that it’s so easy to picture everything in your head. The book itself is a mix of being fast-paced but then also being slow-paced at parts which for me helped the book be more of a success as there’s definitely some moments/events in the book that you do need time to process as it’s happening!
The character building and relationships in this novel are honestly amazing. In regards to the main character, Lei, although we already know she is a very strong minded character, to see her grow throughout the story is great and there were times I honestly thought we would watch her break but every single time she came back fighting even stronger. Wren is another character I adored and I honestly need more of her in my life. The relationship between Lei and Wren was one I really enjoyed reading about and I loved watching them grow together and becoming these fierce characters that I wish to be in life.
As for the minor characters, I feel like there could’ve been more for them. I get that not everyone wants to find out about minor characters but Natasha Ngan made the characters so intriguing that I’d love to just know a bit more about their background etc as they really are all so interesting! I absolutely adored most of the characters in this book which is a first for me. In regards to the villian(s) in the book I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I’ve detested them so much (apart from Umbridge in Harry Potter because she’s a complete bitch) and I wanted them so badly to die slow, painful and extremely drawn out tortured deaths they were that awful!
Natasha Ngan is definitely now up there with my favourite authors. She has such an incredible talent for story writing and in this novel she manages to make you feel every single emotion possible. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough, the writing, the character, the story, it’s all just so gripping and interesting that it’ll make you need/want more! I really can’t wait for the sequel now, I need to know what is going to happen after the ending.
I just want to add a note to the bottom of this review as I’ve seen so many people questioning whether or not they should read the book due to the warnings for sexual abuse in the novel. In regards to this, I can’t personally comment on how other people are going to feel, especially victims of sexual abuse however for me I feel like Natasha handled the situation in such a sensitive way. There is nothing graphic in it but it does deal with how the girls feel after the act has been done and focuses more on their mentality and the support offered from the other girls. Natasha Ngan has bravely spoken out about being a sexual abuse survivor herself so from personal experience I guess it’s helped her write it in such a delicate manner.