Title: Girls of Storm and Shadow
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: November 5th 2019
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire 2/3
Genre: YA Fantasy/LGBT
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?
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher, all opinions are my own.
Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton & Kate for sending me this GORGEOUS ARC copy to read!
I fell in love with Girls of Paper and Fire last year, I gave that one five stars and I also thought it was a standalone, so when the second book was announced I knew I needed to get my hands on it! I was lucky enough to meet Natasha Ngan at YALC earlier this year, she was ever so lovely and I managed to get both of my arcs signed and my hardback of Girls of Paper and Fire!
I’ve been in a massive slump due to my anxiety and depression and it’s completely ruined my reading which is not what I need right now! I ended up cutting this one super close, I finished it last night (Nov 10th) for my tour today and I’m only managing to write this this morning. Screw you slump!
Anyway, I loved diving back into this world and seeing what challenges lie ahead for Lei and her companions. I did find the beginning of this to be a little slow, it’s a very different story compared to the first book in my opinion. But I found it to pick up as the story evolved though I do have some stern words for Natasha in regards to two characters that I LOVED. How could you?! I am heartbroken Natasha!!! I won’t name them because spoilers!
We follow Lei and her companions whilst they’re on their way to go to other Clans and hope to get them to join their cause of overthrowing the King. They go through moments of hardship and struggle to do what’s right for the cause. There is arguments from within their group as they’re all divided on how they’re going about to overthrow the King and what they’re doing to cause it.
I ended up really not liking Wren very much throughout this one, she is following in her fathers footsteps and making sure she’s doing whatever she can to secure alliances. My most favourite characters in this book were the siblings Nitta & Bo, at the beginning they did puns which made me fall in love with them and their sibling relationship was perfect! Another character was Merrin, he was such a well written character for me, I was always rooting for him and there was never a moment where he annoyed me as he was always trying to do his best for the cause and he’s the one who opened up Lei’s eyes even more to what Wren has been doing to secure the alliances.
Even though I found this one to be slightly underwhelming compared to the first book I ended up throughly enjoying it, once it really gets going it’s a lot easier to get stuck into, there’s a lot more action in the second half of this book compared to the first half. However I do think that this was slight filler and background information to whatever is going to happen in the third book, I feel that one is going to be hard hitting and explosive!
I wish there was more story with the paper girls that are back at the palace there were only a couple mentions from their points of view and I wanted to know more but I guess we will have to find out in the next instalment, not sure I can wait until 2020 for this!
If you enjoyed Girls of Paper and Fire, I do recommend that you carry on this series and pick this one up! There’s even a new gay couple that I’m sure you will fall in love with as much as I did. If you haven’t yet definitely go and order yourself a copy of this beautiful book that is now officially out!
Thanks again to Hodder & Stoughton and Kate for sending me this book and for being a part of the blog tour, don’t forget to check out my fellow bloggers on their stops in the tour.