Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Selection in this stunning YA fantasy novel. Perfect for fans of Renee Ahdieh, Laini Taylor and Sabaa Tahir.
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 learns 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.
About the Author
Natasha Ngan is part young-adult author, part yoga-teacher, part habitual nap-taker. She grew up between Malaysia and the UK, speaking Chinese with her mother mainly as a way to talk about people without them understanding. She studied Geography at the University of Cambridge and later worked as a fashion blogger, social media consultant and freelance writer. Natasha recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand and wineglass in the other, but in reality she mostly spends her time lost on the metro and offending locals with her French.
Gorgeously written, gripping, brutal - a sapphic love story I couldn't stop reading -- Samantha Shannon, NYT bestselling author of The Bone Season
This gorgeous book is everything I want in a fantasy. Beautiful, lush, lyrical with fantastic world building and an epic forbidden romance, I devoured every word and was left desperately wanting more. -- Ellen Oh, author of The Prophecy series
Girls of Paper and Fire is as lush - and brutal - as the Demon King's own court. Ngan is a stunning new talent. -- Kiersten White, NYT bestselling author of And I Darken
This book spoke to me on a very personal level, with its messages of surviving and thriving after trauma. One of the *the* best YA books I've read for years. The world building was impeccable and lavish. The love story felt earned and true. It was escapist but also handled real world issues brilliantly. -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars
Get ready to be pulled into a lush, magical world, where two concubines must hide their forbidden love if they want to survive the Demon King's treacherous court. A fiery, spellbinding read. -- Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Lei's story is gorgeously woven in Ngan's emotionally nuanced, crystalline prose. This book broke my heart, made me cry, and had me completely spellbound from the first page. -- Lana Popovic, author of Wicked Like a Wildfire
A beautifully written, powerful story unique against all the current YA fantasy out there. You must read this. -- Joshua Khan, author of Shadow Magic
Thrust into the beauty and horror of the Hidden Palace, will this Paper Girl survive? Ideal for those seeking diverse LGBTQ fantasy stories * Kirkus Reviews *
A stereotype-smashing, female, LGBTQ, Asian, fantasy protagonist that is based in the author's own experiences? Serious question: Was Natasha Ngan's Girls of Paper and Fire birthed from our collective dreams? * Bustle.com *
Ngan's plot is tense and tight, her action sequences are elegant and adrenaline-soaked, and her story's stakes increase exponentially through the pulse-pounding conclusion. She champions self-empowerment while condemning classism, homophobia, and the commod-i-fication of women. What most distinguishes this book, though, is how incisively and intoxicatingly Ngan writes about love * Publisher's Weekly *