Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao is an East Asian fantasy re-imagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress – and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny. I received my copy of the book in the October FairyLoot, which featured all things “Villainous” – otherwise, I really don’t think I would have picked this one up for myself. I haven’t been a huge fan of fairy tale retellings of late, and this seemed like another YA Fantasy Retelling ripe for disappointment.

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.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

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October 2017 FairyLoot Unboxing

FairyLoot is a monthly book subscription box that specializes in Young Adult Fantasy books, based out of London, England. Recent themes include All That Sass (September 2017)Otherworlds (August 2017), and Tricksters (July 2017). Every month they have a different theme and select an exciting newly released fantasy novel, in addition to 4-6 hand selected goodies – like book inspired teas, candles, bookmarks, tote bags, and more!

So, how can you get a FairyLoot box of your own (because once you see the awesome books and all the awesome loot in them, I know you’ll want one too)? For more information, check out FairyLoot’s website!

And, if you decide to subscribe? Check out my FairyLoot Page for current discount codes for 3 and 6 month subscriptions!

So now, on to the exciting part – the unboxing! The theme for October 2017’s FairyLoot box was “Villainous”, and it was inspired by everyone’s favourite fictional villains, including villains from The Young Elites, Harry Potter, Sherlock and more! So if you love a good villain, then you are going to love this box – and even if you’re not, there’s no doubt in my mind you would love it anyways! There’s a TON of fantastic items, including TWO hardcover books – one which is an Evil Queen retelling, and the other being a FairyLoot Exclusive Edition of The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – how cool is that? Some of these items have never been included in a FairyLoot box before, so I was super excited to unbox this month’s box!

(Warning: Spoilers for box contents past this point)

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November 2017 TBR

Hey Bookworms! For those of you who have been following my reading journey on my Bookstagram or Twitter, you’ll know that I have had a pretty successful reading month in October – I managed to read about half of my October TBR list (plus a couple books that weren’t initially on it), and with everything going on, I am pretty proud of that! My stack of To Be Read Books is slowly (but surely) shrinking, and as I head into the next few months, I will be limiting myself when it comes to purchasing new books, so hopefully I will be able to complete my current TBR stack for the first time in months!

So, what will I be reading this month?

I am going to try and be realistic with myself this month – with my educational journey as a Teacher Candidate now well underway, I now know my time to read will be limited, so I am under no illusions of believing I will actually be able to finish every book on the below list – once again, even half would be an accomplishment!

  1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (September 26, 2017)
  2. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (October 3, 2017)
  3. Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell (October 5, 2017)
  4. Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson (October 10, 2017)
  5. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao (October 10, 2017)
  6. Runebinder by Alex R Kahler (November 14, 2017)
  7. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (November 14, 2017)
  8. Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley (November 21, 2017)