Girls of Paper and Fire, by Natasha Ngan


Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara.



She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after -- the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest.

 

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

 

 

 

"Ngan's plot is tense and tight, her action sequences are elegant and adrenaline-soaked, and her story's stakes increase exponentially through the pulse-pounding conclusion. What most distinguishes this book, though, is how incisively and intoxicatingly Ngan writes about love."―Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"This glittering commercial romance has real stakes, and the lavish, intriguingly conceptualized world will capture readers. Love stories between women are still disappointingly few in fantasy, and romance and action fans alike will find much to savor here."―Booklist

"Thrust into the beauty and horror of the Hidden Palace, will this Paper Girl survive? Ideal for those seeking diverse LGBTQ fantasy stories."―Kirkus Reviews

 


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