Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao ARC Review

33958230Rating: 5/5 stars

Title: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Author: Julie C. Dao

Genre: YA, Fantasy, retellings

Pages: 384

Format: Ebook ARC

Source: ARC from publisher

Publisher: Philomel Books

Date published: October 10th, 2017



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.”


    If you enjoy Dark and thrilling stories or others such as Game of Thrones, Six of Crows or Throne of Glass, then you will DEFINITELY enjoy Forest of a Thousand Lanterns!


Buy it now!

Amazon UK Amazon US



Okay, um what? How am I still alive after reading this?

Holy moly guacamole, THIS BOOK WAS SO FREAKING GOOD!

If you enjoy Dark and thrilling stories or others such as Game of Thrones, Six of Crows or Throne of Glass, then you will DEFINITELY enjoy Forest of a Thousand Lanterns!

This book was so fantastic and so unpredictable.

I tend to predict the ending of the books I read, so I’m not that shocked when a plot twist happens. But DAYUM! Julie is a freaking QUEEN! Her writing style is so elegant without it needing long complicated words or unnecessary dashes in the middle of sentences. I was instantly taken into the world that Julie built. The way she described everything was so well done, I felt as if I could imagine every nook and cranny in the bark of the trees, I could feel every piece of fabric each and every person was wearing. It was a magical, magical journey I was taken on and I enjoyed it immensely. Every character was different and it was easy to separate each of them too. I absolutely LOVE this book, it was definitely one of my favourite reads this year! Oh, AND this was a diverse read! *gives Julie all the awards* 

Xifeng was such an interesting character and it was so much fun reading from her POV. At first, I thought she was rather annoying, but as I learnt more and more I ended up LOVING her!! She’s just so cool and like, super mean. It was really refreshing to see her do the unpredicted. The plot itself worked really well too and how tiny things that you wouldn’t think were important popped up much later. it was like every time I turned the page Julie set bombs off inside my head. I could not handle the amazingness that is this book.

tenor oprah_reaction

I was seriously SO surprised when I was reading it. I’m so happy to have read this and I’m so happy that it has some diverse representation because WE NEED MORE DIVERSE BOOKS. This is just such a beautiful, beautiful book. I can’t say anything else other than READ THIS BOOK.


Have you read this book? if so, let me know if you loved it or not! I’d love to discuss!


About The Author

screen2bshot2b2017-10-072bat2b11-44-042bpmJulie C. Dao ( is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

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