Title: The Girl King
Author: Mimi Yu
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Series: The Girl King #1
Sisters Lu and Min have always understood their places as princesses of the Empire. Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty's first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.
Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes on the run. She needs an ally—and an army—if she is to succeed. Her quest leads her to Nokhai, the last surviving wolf shapeshifter. Nok wants to keep his identity secret, but finds himself forced into an uneasy alliance with the girl whose family killed everyone he ever loved…
Alone in the volatile court, Min's hidden power awakens—a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set's reign…or allow Min to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters' greatest enemy could turn out to be each other.
What I Liked
This is a gorgeous fantasy with three very relatable POV characters: Princesses Lu and Min, and apothecary apprentice Nokhai. From the start, they're all very relatable and very different. Each has flaws but you love them anyway. From the cutthroat imperial court to the simple tree-house of the village apothecarist to the sweeping northern steppes, this book kept dishing out the scenery and refused to stop.
What I Would Have Liked to See
Sometimes there would be so much going on, I'd get lost a little bit in the action.
The culture and mythology of the Gifted. Be still my heart! I'm not sure about all of them, but I know for certain the Ashina were a Turkic tribe on the eastern Asian steppes, and in ancient texts are often referred to as "wolves." That the author incorporated real history into a fantasy novel is right up my alley, and I was surprised and pleased to see the Ashina brought into this story.
Suspenseful, political East Asian-inspired fantasy that will leave you ANGRY at the end that it's OVER and you have to wait for the second book to find out how things end!
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!