Books

‘Girls of Paper and Fire’ by Natasha Ngan

1/5

Synopsis:

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honour they could hope for … and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Review:

I am highly disappointed. I expected so much more, the war devastated terrain, the removal of a loved one, golden eyes, “paper girls”. There was so much potential.

What this book fails to tell you is that this is not for young adults, and should come with a multitude of trigger warnings. I’m honestly shocked and quite disturbed.

The book centres around Lei and how she’s brutally removed from her home to become the Demon King’s sexual slave. She’s 17.

There are 8 “paper girls” usually and Lei, with her golden eyes, becomes number 9.

From here on this book becomes one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read, a 16 year old who is a sexual slave who then falls in love with her master. While the other girls compete to be r*ped first…

It’s so disturbing.

The one redeeming feature, and I mean ONE, is Wren. Wren is this beautiful straight faced, nothing-can-get-me-down paper girl who falls in love with Lei. I appreciate how ‘studdy’ Wren is written despite her irrevocably beautiful features. So beautiful in fact, that she is also a paper girl.

A thoroughly disappointing read… and there are two more books in this series? WTH.

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