Waiting on Wednesday: Forest of A Thousand Lanterns

Title: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)

Author: Julie C. Dao

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings 

Format:  Hardcover, 384 pages

Publishing Information: October 10th 2017 by Philomel Books


An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

I haven’t been too great about keeping up with upcoming new releases these past few months because things have been quite hectic but Forest of A Thousand Lanterns  has been getting so much buzz lately — I’ve been seeing it all over Twitter, Instagram, and under my Goodreads recommendations. As soon as a read the summary, I knew that I would definitely need to add this book to my TBR list. You guys know just how much I love retellings (in fact, in 2016 I made a list of all the retellings I was looking forward to) so I’m super pumped about Forest of A Thousand Lanterns. 

Forest of A Thousand Lanterns is an East Asian retelling of The Evil Queen and it sounds super dark and bloody, which is how I like my fantasies.  It follows the story of Xifeng, who is prophesied to be great if she embraces the darkness within her. I really like the idea of a villain origin story with an Asian protagonist. Also, this book was written by a Vietnamese-American — I’m all about diverse books written by POC authors so I will definitely be purchasing this as soon as it releases this fall. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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