Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.
But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.
In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.
I gave this book 5 stars I absolutely loved it. The world building, the characters, the romance it was all so good! The fact that I could read a lesbian romance in a fantasy, I died a little bit from happiness.
I will give a huge trigger warning for sexual assault and abuse, if you are sensitive to those things definitely do not read it. It is set in a very awful world where humans are oppressed by demons. The king is a nasty and abusive and takes these paper girls as his concubines.
The story is not all as dark as it sounds, that’s why I loved Lei and Wren so much. Not only do we have a story of these papergirls falling in love but they are both so stong and fight their oppression by the demon king. Throughout the story we start with a broken girl stolen from her home and family, and slowly the fire builds within her and she becomes a fighter. I loved that because we get to feel her pain but also grow with her as a character.
If you like dark fantasy worlds, with forbidden romance, and revenge you will love this book.
Side note the ending has me rattled, the minute I put it down I was frantically googling if there is a sequel. If you have read it please tell me there is going to be a another book!!
Thanks for reading 🙂