A while ago I read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. It’s a fractured fairy tale about the evil queen, set in a fantasy world based on Eastern Asia. A beautiful girl named Xifeng loves a man, but her aunt Guma reads the cards and tells her the stars say she is destined for greatness, to become the Empress of Feng Lu, which Xifeng secretly desires as well. Her aunt is abusive, trying to force her to follow her fate, but she must use evil blood magic and give up the one she loves in order to succeed. She decides to do it, but she does it alone, escaping her aunt. The book is about her journey to becoming Empress and giving in to the darkness within her.
It’s a really dark and fantastical story, and I thought it was an amazing book. It was incredibly interesting reading about the story even if the characters aren’t necessarily good people. I really liked it, and I’d recommend it to people who like dark fantasy, fractured fairy tales, and Asian inspired stories.