[PH Blog Tour + PH Giveaway] | Book Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Book Reviews


Title: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Author: Julie C. Dao
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: October 10th 2017


Buy Links:


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | ibooks | Book Depository


An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


“You’ll throw away something you have, for fear of losing it anyway.”

I am certain that I really love re-tellings especially when a character is a villain. That’s why I’m eager to read this book without any hesitations. The premise of the book really intrigues me, and because this was a debut novel of Julie C. Dao, my hopes were really high!

At the start of the book, you were introduced to the world of Xifeng, which was a beautiful girl who grew up with her aunt. Even though they were poor, her aunt still teaches her everything – education, sewing, and the like. And because Xifeng was preparing for something better.

Warning, you will not ever put this book down as you start reading it because it was my feeling during and after reading the book.

Gosh. My arms really hurt, to be honest. LOL.

You want to know why?
It’s because the world that Ms. Julie Dao made was really mesmerizing that it results for me to fantasize the places and see it with my own eyes.

For the characters, they were all so good. Yes, they still have flaws, but each character that Xifeng met has an important role in her destiny.

And for Xifeng, gosh! I love her character! Her character development in the story was also the reason why I gripped to the book until the end. There was a charm in her character that I can’t resist and the fact that as the story progresses, there was also a combination that you want to know her more, and what she will become in the next.

Overall, I love this! And I have high hopes for the next installment of this book. Kudos to you Ms. Julie for a job well done!


My Rating:

Thank you to Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for hosting the PH Blog Tour for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao!

About the Author:


Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram



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I haven’t read the book yet but the story sounds promising. Do you know how long the series would be? I know that the next book is going to come out somewhere in 2018 but I still have no idea whether this is going to be a duology/trilogy

Richard Cafifge
Richard Cafifge

I’m hesitant to buy the book. The more I hear booktubers and bloggers talk about it, the more my interest gets piqued. Based on this review, I am sold.