The Girl King #1
Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 8, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal for readers of Sabaa Tahir and Alwyn Hamilton
All hail the Girl King.
Sisters Lu and Min have always understood their places as princesses of the Empire. Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty's first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.
Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes on the run. She needs an ally—and an army—if she is to succeed. Her quest leads her to Nokhai, the last surviving wolf shapeshifter. Nok wants to keep his identity secret, but finds himself forced into an uneasy alliance with the girl whose family killed everyone he ever loved…
Alone in the volatile court, Min's hidden power awakens—a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set's reign…or allow Min to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters' greatest enemy could turn out to be each other.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
I wanted to like this book.
In fact, I wanted to love The Girl King. Sisters! Rivals! Betrayal! Family! War! Mimi Yu’s debut smells of an action-packed adventure with sibling rivalry, magic and court politics that would be hard to put down. Bonus points for #OwnVoices.
But much disappointment has occurred.
Bookwyrms, much disappointment has indeed occurred. I spent loads of time deciding if I should continue trekking my way through The Girl King or calling it quits. Eventually, at 50% through, I decided to call it a day because we don’t have time for books that aren’t enjoyable.
We’re not going to talk much about the problems involved.
“Slipskin” feels awfully weird for a shifter/werewolf influence, bookwyrms. Sure, it’s “slipping” out of one’s “skin” and into another “slipping” into another “skin.” But is it just me, or do I think of something gross and slimy at the thought? 🤔
And let’s not get started with “pink.” I legit thought of newly born babies.
Vicky from Vicky Who Reads has this covered in more detail in her review. (I guarantee you her post is 100x more professional.)
I didn’t connect with anything in The Girl King.
Sure, I went to at least halfway through the book, but it was a whole lot of back and forth reading between this book and another one. I didn’t care about the storyline or the world, even though I could relate to some of the cultural influences included. Despite enjoying Lu’s fierceness, I ultimately didn’t care about Lu or any of the other characters involved. I found myself interested in continuing the book at some points, but at the same time, I didn’t really care.