Today’s review is for the finale to one of my all-time favourite trilogies, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I loved both the first and the second book, every single book had me crying as it teared my heart out and, with that kind of impact, of course I’d recommend this trilogy to anyone!
It’s a tale mostly focused around two human (“Paper”) girls, Lei and Wren, hopelessly in love within a world that tries its hardest to tear them apart but they fight to try and change it for the better.
Full review below!
About the Book
Title: Girls of Fate and Fury
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire #3
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: November 23rd 2021
Source: eARC gifted by the publisher (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased) and I’ve also preordered a signed standard copy and the FairyLoot edition (purchased by myself).
‘New York Times bestselling author Natasha Ngan delivers a stunningly beautiful, heartbreaking finale to the epic Girls of Paper and Fire series.
“Don’t struggle, Lei-zhi. It’s time to take you back to the Hidden Palace. You’re going home.”
The final pages of Girls of Storm and Shadow brought a jaw-dropping conclusion that had the fates of Lei and Wren hanging in uncertainty. But one thing was certain – the Hidden Palace was the last place that Lei would ever consider home. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls would plague her forever. She could not be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren.
The last Lei saw of the girl she loved, Wren was fighting an army of soldiers in a furious battle to the death. With the two girls torn apart and each in terrorizing peril, will they find each other again or have their destinies diverged forever?
Girls of Fate and Fury is the epic conclusion to the “glittering” and “adrenaline-soaked” series by Natasha Ngan, hailed as “a stunning, new talent” for her “beautiful, lush, lyrical” writing.‘
Okay, where do you even begin with a review for a book that concludes one of your all-time favourite trilogies? Girls of Fate and Fury picks up pretty much straight after the events of the second book, with Lei on her way back to the Hidden Palace that she despises so much and Wren still fighting to make the world a better place… whilst being internally torn apart as all she wants is to rescue the girl she loves.
I am to die, but I am not theirs to kill.
If you loved the palace dramas of the first book, then you’ll really love this as it’s half that and half like the second book, focused on the build up and inevitable fight against the Demon King. We have the return of some great characters in this too. I loved Blue by the end of the first story and she’s back in this and just gets better and better as a character the more we see her.
There is a character who returns having been injured to the point where they can’t walk, and Natasha adds in this representation in SUCH a beautiful way that it’s very clear they aren’t defined by this disability as their glowing personality shines through.
“I am still a warrior. I am still myself.”
Another returning set of characters… Lei’s adorable family! The Hanno Clan is keeping them safe and it’s just lovely seeing them back again.
We have three key new characters, including two warriors on the Lei and Wren’s side and… a certain Queen. It’s slightly maddening that we’ve had two books without the Queen but it makes sense given the Demon King’s treatment of women in general. I won’t say much about her but she was definitely my favourite addition in terms of new characters!
In terms of the structure, we have both Lei and Wren’s perspectives throughout and that works so well for the story. The other two books were focused around Lei and although that worked incredibly well to get to know Lei I absolutely adored the more intimate look at things through Wren’s point of view. I don’t know if it was intentional but following the events of the second book it makes even more sense to see things from both of their points of view, as they end up pretty separated both physically and emotionally following what happens in that one.
This trilogy has absolutely torn me apart emotionally whilst I’ve read it. But it’s just the perfect way of showing people dealing with PTSD and overcoming obstacles to make the world a better place that I can’t help but love it. Heavy subjects are dealt with throughout, including the effects of rape and emotional manipulation. But, I have to stress that Natasha covers this in such a way that you have to keep reading. It’s handled with care and you fall in love with every character, even when they do questionable things you’re shown the reasoning behind it.
“You were the only thing in the world that existed right then. The only thing she cared about.”
And that reasoning is usually love. Whether is familial, friendship or romantic these books are filled to the brim with love being how things are overcome. There are instances where family members don’t show their love but this is picked up by friends around them, there are times when sacrifices are made out of love, and it’s obvious that one of the reasons why the Demon King is so monstrous is that he’s incapable of loving in the normal way.
In short, this is a trilogy that will rip your heart open but stitch it back together in the most beautiful way.
Have you preordered this yet?
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