Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: the eldest, assertive Lu, will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Then their father names their male cousin Set the heir instead, throwing both girls’ lives into chaos. Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu is forced to flee, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the decimated Ashina, nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift–and he has no trust for the Empire that killed his family–but working with the princess might be the key to unlocking his true power. As Lu and Nok form a tenuous alliance, Min’s own hidden power awakens–a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other.
When I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. It sounded like a fierce, female driven story. I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in this story, to see Lu fight for her throne, to see what Min’s story holds, and to get to know Nokhai more!
I wasn’t a fan. All my reasons are very related to things that I personally like and dislike. I know people who would absolutely love this book! But it simply wasn’t for me. I felt like the story was a hodgepodge of things that have been done before. I felt like I could never fully fall into the story and I wound up being bored a lot of the time. It was like everything was muted, instead of on full blast.
There was also some, I don’t want to say tropes, but things that I didn’t like, personally. Just story story elements that I’m not a fan of. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything more than that without spoiling anything haha.
The characters were incredible and what kept me reading. The were so real. I think you could describe them as morally gray, but it feels more than that to me. It felt like actual teenagers making actual decisions in their messed up world. They’re not perfect, but they make them and they see the consequences.
I loved being in Lu, Min, and Nokhai’s heads. I love seeing their reactions to situations and how they thought about them. Again, it just felt so real. I loved seeing them progress through the story and where their lives took them. That was magical to see.
All in all, I would say to definitely give this series a shot. It’s the first book and I think the series could head in such an incredible direction. This one just fell a little flat for me.
The Girl King is out January 8th, 2019 and you can pre-order here!
Thank you for reading!