Uncover a riveting story of palace intrigue set in a sumptuous Asian-inspired fantasy world in the breakout YA novel that Publisher's Weekly calls "elegant and adrenaline-soaked."
In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after -- the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, she does the unthinkable: she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.
About the Author
Natasha Ngan is part young-adult author, part yoga teacher, and part habitual nap-taker. She grew up in both Malaysia and the UK, speaking Chinese with her mother mainly as a way to talk about people without them understanding. She studied Geography at the University of Cambridge and later worked as a fashion blogger, social media consultant and freelance writer.
Natasha recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand and wineglass in the other, but in reality she mostly spends her time lost on the metro and offending locals with her French.
Praise for Girls of Paper and Fire:
A New York Times Bestseller
A Barnes & Noble Most Anticipated YA Fantasy of 2018
*"Ngan's plot is tense and tight, her action sequences are elegant and adrenaline-soaked, and her story's stakes increase exponentially through the pulse-pounding conclusion. What most distinguishes this book, though, is how incisively and intoxicatingly Ngan writes about love."—Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"This glittering commercial romance has real stakes, and the lavish, intriguingly conceptualized world will capture readers. Love stories between women are still disappointingly few in fantasy, and romance and action fans alike will find much to savor here."—Booklist
"Thrust into the beauty and horror of the Hidden Palace, will this Paper Girl survive? Ideal for those seeking diverse LGBTQ fantasy stories."—Kirkus Reviews
"Girls of Paper and Fire is as lush--and brutal--as the Demon King's own court. Ngan is a stunning new talent."—Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken
"This gorgeous book is everything I want in a fantasy. Beautiful, lush, lyrical with fantastic world building and an epic forbidden romance, I devoured every word and was left desperately wanting more."—Ellen Oh, author of the Prophecy series and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books
"Lei and Wren's romance unfolds tenderly... and their wonder at finding love in such a terrible place rings true... [All] lead[s] to a terrifically nail-biting cliffhanger, setting all the pieces in play for a combustible sequel."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Lush...a novel you need to read."—Heidi Heilig, Shondaland.com
"Ngan's story is rich, is beautiful, is devastating and magical, and one of the best novels in 2018."—Hypable.com
"Get ready to be pulled into a lush, magical world, where two concubines must hide their forbidden love if they want to survive the Demon King's treacherous court. A fiery, spellbinding read."—Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
"Against a back-drop of impressive world-building, reminiscent of Imperial China, this is a riveting, thought-provoking, diverse novel of female subjugation and empowerment that should appeal to mature teens"—VOYA
"Damn... Good read, highly recommend."—Olympic-gold-winning snowboarder Chloe Kim
"Ngan's demonic world is sharp and compelling, and her Lei is my sort of heroine, attacking her (steep!) learning curve teeth-first."—E.K. Johnston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Story of Owen and Star Wars: Ahsoka
"With deliciously deep world-building and a cast of fierce young women fighting to take charge of their own story, Girls of Paper and Fire cuts you deep and leaves you breathless for more." —Ashley Poston, author of Heart of Iron and Geekerella
"A beautifully written, powerful story unique against all the current YA fantasy out there. You must read this."—Joshua Khan, author of Shadow Magic
"Lei's story is gorgeously woven in Ngan's emotionally nuanced, crystalline prose. This book broke my heart, made me cry, and had me completely spellbound from the first page."—Lana Popovic, author of Wicked Like a Wildfire
"Queer girls falling in love while kicking ass and resisting oppression in a rich, magical, and Asian-inspired world. What more could you ask for?"—R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War
"Gorgeously written, gripping, brutal--a sapphic love story I couldn't stop reading."—Samantha Shannon, NYT bestselling author of The Bone Season