My Rating ~ Five stars
RELEASE DATE: 6 November 2018
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
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.
TW: violence and sexual abuse.
Girls of Paper and Fire was such an intense, and sometimes brutal, read. The writing was enchanting and the slow burn romance, under difficult circumstances, was perfect.
In the world of Ikhara, there are three types of castes – Paper Castes (human beings, and the lowest caste according to the king), Steel Castes (humans with demon/animal elements) and Moon Castes (full demons). Every year, the demon king takes 8 paper caste girls to be his concubines, his “Paper Girls”, with the promise that their families will be showered with money and gifts. Lei couldn’t think of anything worse than being a Paper Girl, especially after demon soldiers ripped her mother away from her years ago. But when the demon soldiers come for her, there may be no escape from her worst fears.
Lei can only hope that somehow she can change her fate once she’s at the palace, and maybe find out what happened to her mother all those years ago. At first is seems as though she is the only girl not happy to be there, but as the story unfolds, she discovers every girls has a different story.
This book wasn’t an easy read, it was confronting and had me holding my breath anxiously more than once, but I absolutely loved it. I found it hard to put down because I just wanted to know what was going to happen next (even if sometimes I wanted to read through my fingers, incase something terrible was coming!).
And that ending…..! I need book two right now please!
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