Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was finally a villain story that I could get behind. I did like Fairest by Marissa Meyer, however at no point did I really care about Levana as a person.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns really made me care about Xifeng. I didn’t go into it realizing that Xifeng was the villain. I thought she was Snow White. So, it was a great twist for me as I realized that she was the evil queen. I loved her transition from light to dark.  It was so impressive to me that the author managed to keep me invested in Xifeng, even as she murdered and seduced her way to the top. I felt like her transition was very fluid and controlled well by the author.

I also liked the way she slowly pulled away from everyone. It felt so realistic. She didn’t start as an awful person, she just was a naive girl manipulated by everyone around her. I am so excited to read the next one and see what happens to her and ‘the fool.’

I also liked the side characters. I felt really bad for Wei. He loved Xifang so much and she used him. He was a nice character, but pretty flat. I kept wondering if he was going to be her huntsman, but he was too soft for that. The Empress was such an interesting character though.


This was my favorite part of the story. There were so many different scenes and locations. I loved seeing all the beautiful scenery in the palace as well. For a first novel, I was particularly impressed. The East Asian setting was so beautiful. I would definitely read another book from her!

You know any other East Asian fairy tales? I’d love to add some more to my to-read pile!

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