Author: Yu, Mimi
When their father names a male cousin as next ruler of the Empire of the First Flame, Lu must go on the run to reclaim her birthright, leaving her younger, timid sister, Min, to discover her own hidden power.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 501253
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 Gr 9 Up–This series opener is told in alternating points of view—Princess Lu, called the Girl King, her overlooked younger sister Min, and Lu's childhood friend, Nok, now an apothecary's apprentice. Events from years earlier weigh heavily on the characters, including the disappearance of the Yunians, godlike beings, and the near extermination of Nok's brethren, nicknamed slipskins for their ability to transform into animals. Headstrong Lu knows she is destined to be the first Empress of the somewhat-new Hu dynasty and looks forward to her father naming her as his successor. Instead, he announces her rival cousin Set will become Emperor and she will be his wife. Min begins to struggle with her feelings as she is ignored by her father, and praised by her mother. She fluctuates between wanting to be unnoticed and to be as strong a presence as Lu. This is a masterful blend of Asian history with a touch of fantasy. The characters are compelled to confront how they think of themselves with how they actually are, and must make decisions that could affect the fate of their country. Yu crafts a rich tale filled with detailed world-building that draws readers in. This mainly female-led ambitious adventure will appeal to fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore and The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. VERDICT An epic tale of fate, desire, family and love, highly recommended for purchase.—Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2018 Princess Lu has trained since birth to become empress after her father’s passing, but he names her cousin his successor instead. When she challenges Lord Set to a contest to determine the rightful heir, she is ambushed and flees north to find an army to reclaim her kingdom. Instead she finds Nokhai, one of the few remaining shapeshifters in the empire and a former friend from her childhood, and although Lu was the reason for some of Nok’s scars, they journey north together. Meanwhile, Set marries Lu’s younger, submissive sister, Min, who has hidden magical abilities, and the four are on a collision course that could destroy everything they hold dear. First-time author Yu has ably crafted a fast-paced, seamless fantasy adventure full of action, mysticism, and female empowerment. Indeed, the women in the story are, with one exception, much more interesting than the men. Give this to fans of Cinda Williams Chima’s Shattered Realms series, Lauren DeStefano’s The Glass Spare? (2017), or Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.