The Girl King

Mimi Yu. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (496p) ISBN 978-1-68119-889-7
The struggle for succession in a powerful empire pits two sisters against each other after their father, the emperor, shocks everyone by announcing the girls’ cousin as his heir. Princess Lu always assumed she’d become the Empire of the First Flame’s first female ruler, and she has no desire to be betrothed to her degenerate cousin, Set. When her challenge for dominance fails and Set attempts to assassinate her, she’s forced to flee north, seeking new allies among the empire’s subjugated populations, including the residents of the secretive city of Yunis, long thought to be destroyed. Meanwhile, Lu’s younger sister, Min, forges her own alliance with Set while exploring her newfound magical abilities, which might reshape the empire. With the sisters on a collision course, their separate tales seem destined to end in tragedy. It’s easy to get lost in the multiple narrative threads with so much going on in this tale, and Lu’s journey feels more developed and nuanced than Min’s. But with its Asia-inspired worldbuilding, lush descriptions, and a weighty sense of history, this sprawling fantasy is still a strong debut for Yu. Ages 14–up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-5476-0308-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-978683-37-2
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