Mini Reviews ~ ARCS

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC.

# The Red Palace ~ by June Hur

Goodreads Synopsis –

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

Review –

I have only read one other book by June Hur and that is ‘The silence of Bones’ and I loved it so much that it made into my top 10 books of 2019. Next, I have been wanting to read other books by her and between ‘The forest of stolen girls’ and ‘The Red Palace’ , I chose the later one because I got approved for the ARC.

‘The Red Palace’ is a YA historical mystery set in Joseon (Korea) 1758 by June Hur. After a massacre involving palace nurses takes place and the crown prince is framed for it, a 17 year old palace nurse Hyeon and 18 year old police inspector Eojin come together to unravel the case and clear up Crown Prince’s name.

The most interesting thing about this book is that it is inspired from the real life story of Prince Sado of Joseon and the tragic relationship he had with his father.

The one thing I must say is that June Hur definitely knows her work ! The setting is so vivid that it immediately transports you, the murder mysteries are always twisted and difficult to figure out who the real killer is. The red palace delivers in a similar fashion. I felt immediately transported to the palace full of conspiracies and betrayals.

And this is also the first book where June Hur has incorporated romance and I didn’t hate it? I am not a big romance fan but I could definitely see it working out here.

Overall, the book is fast paced and addictive, I read it in two days ! But despite that being said, I think I liked ‘The silence of Bones’ a little more than this one. I really can’t point my finger as to why but yeah, hence I will be removing a star from my rating.

If you like secrets and court intrigue, murder mystery and Korea based historical setting than definitely check this one out !

Rating –

# The boy with Fire ~ Aparna Verma

Goodreads Synopsis –

Yassen Knight was the Arohassin’s most notorious assassin until a horrible accident. Now, he’s on the run from the authorities and his former employer. But when Yassen seeks refuge with an old friend, he’s offered an irresistible deal: defend the heir of Ravence from the Arohassin, and earn his freedom.

Elena Ravence prepares to ascend the throne. Trained since birth in statecraft, warfare, and the desert ways, Elena knows she is ready. She only lacks one thing: the ability to hold Fire. With the coronation only weeks away, she must learn quickly or lose her kingdom.

Leo Ravence is not ready to give up the crown. There’s still too much work to be done, too many battles to be won. But when an ancient prophecy threatens to undo his lifetime of work, Leo wages war on the heavens themselves to protect his legacy.

The first of The Ravence Trilogy, The Boy with Fire is the tale of a world teetering on the edge of war and prophecy, of fate and betrayal, of man’s irrevocable greed for power — and the sacrifices that must come with it.

Review –

‘The boy with Fire’ is an Indian inspired adult Scifi-fantasy story which follows some morally grey characters and revolves around the themes of love, betrayal, fear, grief, sacrifice and greed.

Now, being a desi I crave for Indian inspired SFF novels ALL THE TIME. The world seriously needs more of them and I mean seriously! So, when read the blurb of ‘The boy with fire’ and found out that its Indian inspired, I immediately reached out to the author and requested for an ARC. And, thankfully I received it via NetGalley.

Now coming to how I felt about this one, it really wasn’t what I expected it to be but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was bad.

Aparna Verma really knows how to build a lush and vivid world which is incredibly unique and so much her own but yet somehow familiar (in a good way).

The characters we follow are also pretty interesting. But my favorite parts of the book was definitely the dynamics between father and daughter i.e. Elena and Leo. I loved seeing how Leo wanted to do best for his daughter and yet how different they both were from each other.

And then there were some characters whom I definitely wanted more from. I am not going to name them because of spoilers. But if you’ve read it then you will know whom I mean.

There were part that felt a little bland though and I kind of skimmed through them ? But Aparna has definitely stood out to me as a debut author with her writing skills and twists definitely threw me off, specially the one in the Epilogue !

This was overall an enjoyable read and I recommend this if you are looking for a unique blend of Sci-fi and Fantasy with an Indian inspired setting and morally grey protagonists.

Rating –

Thank you for reading !

12 thoughts on “Mini Reviews ~ ARCS”

  1. lovely reviews! I have the ARC for The Red Palace and reading your review has made me even more excited to read it. I still have to read The Silence of Bones but I did read Hur’s novel The Forest of Stolen Girls and I really recommend that since you liked her other novels ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tysm Saima ! I am honestly excited to read ‘The forest of stolen girls’ by June Hur 😍 and ‘The silence of bones’ is excellent as well. I hope you enjoy both that and ‘The red palace’ . Will keep an eye out for your reviews 👀

      Liked by 1 person

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