The Girl King
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Format Paperback from publisher
Pub Date 8th January 2019
Price $19.99 AUD
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Girl King was a solid debut from author Mimi Yu. This YA fantasy was intriguing and easy to read. It was full to the brim with action, magic and betrayal. Overall I liked it. When I first saw the synopsis I was so excited to read this book! The Girl King is told from three points of view. We have Lu – the namesake of the book, Min – her younger and more demure sister, and Nok – a boy with the ability to change into a wolf. Lu is not named as her father’s successor as Emperor and her cousin Set usurps her throne. She is cast out as a traitor and escapes with her life when she is attacked. She works with Nok and others to try and defeat Set.
What I really liked about this book was it was dark and honest. People treated each other terribly and characters were flawed. In this respect the book was refreshing. Its nice to read a book where every character isn’t perfect. All three main characters are very flawed and over the course of the book we see some nice development from them. There were some pretty harsh and gruesome scenes, so there should be a warning for: murder, graphic death, derogatory terms and attempted rape. I thought these topics were a bit too adult to be considered YA.
At times I was really frustrated with the story telling and thought it could have been shorter and less confusing. Initially I found the many names of people, places, myths, gods, countries, wars and races extremely hard to follow. The pacing of the story was good, but overall the entire thing could have been shorter and achieved the same effect. Some of the writing was stilted at times.
The book had many instances of twists and betrayals I did not expect. I liked that this book surprised me. The ending was my favourite part, as it came together so well but also drawing me in and making me ask questions. I would be keen to read the next book to follow the story.
Overall it was an intriguing premise and an easy to read fantasy that had some new and unique concepts.
Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing my copy for review! I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own and do not represent the author or publisher.