Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Selection in this stunning YA fantasy novel. Perfect for fans of Renée 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 learn 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.
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. In reality, she mostly spends her time lost on the metro and offending locals with her French.
An elegant and heart-rending ode to human endurance, and to love. Lei is an unforgettable protagonist - her story will have you reading all night, then calling for the next one — Samantha Shannon, NYT bestselling author of The Bone Season
A compelling narrative of personal rebellion, and a timely reminder that, in the right hands, the fantasy genre has things to say about injustice and abuse of power in the real world — Guardian
Queer girls falling in love while kicking ass and resisting oppression in a rich, magical, and Asian-inspired world. What more could you ask for? — R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War
An explosively tense and immensely deft novel . . . Ngan has written a very accomplished work, and I'm really looking forward to the sequel. — Tor.com
Ngan's story is rich, is beautiful, is devastating and magical, and one of the best novels that I've picked up so far in 2018 — Hypable
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
Beautiful and heart-breaking and meaningful . . . Ngan's writing is stunning — Young Adult Reads
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
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 commodification of women. What most distinguishes this book, though, is how incisively and intoxicatingly Ngan writes about love — Publisher's Weekly
A vital and energetic novel . . . that mounts with increasing tension towards an explosive conclusion . . . . I enjoyed it tremendously — Locus Magazine
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
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
A beautifully written, powerful story unique against all the current YA fantasy out there. You must read this. — Joshua Khan, author of Shadow Magic
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
One of the most original worlds I have come across in a long time . . . there is an absolute lyricism to the some parts of the book that show Ngan's mastery of language — The Nerd Daily
This book is important . . . a well-crafted, lovely story with characters that tugged at my heartstrings — Fictionist Magazine
'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 stunning work of fantasy fiction . . . Girls of Paper and Fire is ambitious in scale - but Natasha Ngan's imagination is extraordinary . . . guaranteed to get your pulse racing — After Ellen
A story of magic, mayhem, rebellion and young love . . . a must read for anyone who enjoys a well told fantasy tale featuring a diverse cast of characters — All About Romance