Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Released: 5th of November 2019
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?
What I Have to Say
This series keeps breaking my heart over and over, and I couldn't be more addicted to it. I just want Lei and Wren to be happy and free and in love, and all this thrilling, captivating and incredibly upsetting stuff keeps happening to them. It's not often that I get quite so invested in certain characters and relationships, but when it happens it is always a sign of an incredible series that I will love forever. I'm so attached to Wren and Lei, and also some of the other girls, that their victories and defeats thrill and hurt me. Ngan is a genius with a pen and her words are truly magic, if cruel, vicious magic that makes me want to cry and scream in frustration, especially with her cruel, heartless endings.
I really liked exploring more of the world in this book after spending so much time trapped in the palace in the first book. It was fascinating to see the different kinds of demons and the way they lived. I especially liked the birds and the way that their palace was set up and streamlined for flight, while also having stairs in place for the steel and paper castes to allow them to walk between levels.
I also loved seeing the different viewpoints throughout the book; seeing glimpses of what was happening with the Demon King and the paper girls who remained back at the palace. It feels weird to say but I think the Demon King's voice was one of my favourite viewpoints as it showed a glimpse into the mind of a monster, showing the way he thinks and also the fact that Lei has gotten under his skin, an incredible victory that I took so much pleasure in. I also really liked Aoki's chapter even though it was so heartbreaking to read. Her feelings towards the Demon King show the trauma bond that can form between a victim and their abuser and this was a well written insight into those kinds of feelings.
I can't wait and am also dreading the third and final part of this trilogy and seeing how everything comes together. The heartbreak, betrayal, death and beautiful writing make this series such an incredible edge-of-your-seat journey.
My thanks go to Hodderscape for providing me with this free copy!