Review: Girls of Fate and Fury

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the Girls of Paper and Fire series by Natasha Ngan, so I was obviously extremely excited to get to sink my teeth into the conclusion early. Thank you so much to Kate Keehan and Hodderscape for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

If you haven’t already delved into this top-tier trilogy, please check out Girls of Paper and Fire & Girls of Storm and Shadow first.

‘Don’t struggle, Lei-zhi. It’s time to take you back to the Hidden Palace. You’re going home.’

The jaw-dropping conclusion to Girls of Storm and Shadow left the fates of Lei and Wren hanging in the balance. There’s one thing Lei knows – she can never return to the Hidden Palace. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls will plague her forever. She cannot be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren. 

The last time Lei saw 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 great peril, will they reunite at last, or have their destinies diverged forever?

Publication Date: 23rd November

TW: mentions of sexual assault, death and self-harm

Goodreads | Waterstones

My Thoughts:

Girls of Fate and Fury is a wonderful conclusion to an amazing series, an emotional roller-coaster complete with even more worldbuilding, plenty of intrigue and backstabbing. 

I loved getting Wren’s viewpoint as well, with an intriguing glimpse into her psyche, trauma and abilities. She’s come so far from the steely ice princess of the first book, opening up and loving even deeper. However, that growth has come alongside truly tragic and devastating events. What I loved here was Ngan’s discussion of the ongoing impact of trauma and reclaiming your identity in a world pitted against you. The backstory of every Paper Girl was tragic and made them that much more empathetic. You want to just scoop them up and protect them. 

Whereas Girls of Storm and Shadow was potentially a more character-driven story, here Ngan ramps up the tension and action even more. You’ve seen these characters grow and fallen in love with them, so now Ngan places everything on the line. The action scenes are not short of spectacular, full of darkness and violence. Every page has the tangible sense that everything may come crashing down at any point. This truly is an emotional rollercoaster of a book. I also really enjoyed Ngan’s ethical exploration of the cost of vengeance and the dark places we will go to (or be manipulated into) in order to survive and protect our loved ones. 

Speaking of ramping up, I adored how Ngan threaded in even more details to this complex tapestry of worldbuilding. There are still new power players to meet and lands to explore. Also, I loved the sheer amount of intrigue and backstabbing hidden round every corner. The political machinations have always been a fascinating aspect of this trilogy and Ngan utilises them perfectly, showing the horrific cost of war. Just when you think you know everything, Ngan unveils another layer of emotional depth and twists that leave you reeling.

Girls of Fate and Fury confirms what I already knew: Natasha Ngan has my whole heart.

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