Girls of Storm & Shadow (Girls of Paper & Fire #2) by Natasha Ngan

Fantasy, 403 pages, published in 2019

After fleeing from the Hidden Palace, Lei and Wren are now faced with finding allies for the upcoming war. Even after finding freedom, new problems threaten their lives and their relationship at every turn.

Spoiler Free Review:

💜💜💜💜

After finishing my reread of Girls of Paper & Fire, I was super excited to dive right into this book. It definitely has a different feeling than the first book, so it took me a little while to really get into the story.

This is much more of a travelling story than the first, which took place in just one location. I also got a little confused because I have a hard time picturing the demons. Moon caste are half demon, half human, but I kept picturing them as fully demon.

This is a language I understand. A language of pain and horror that I, too, have learned. That too many girls have learned.

pg. 116

This book heavily deals with the aftermath of sexual assault. Both Wren and Lei are feeling the aftereffects of what they went through at the palace and I loved seeing them open up to each other about it.

I was a little afraid that since Wren and Lei are together already, their relationship wouldn’t change, but that absolutely wasn’t the case. They go through a lot and have to deal with a lot, both for themselves and for their relationship.

There are a host of new characters introduced that travel with Wren and Lei and I really liked them! I wanted maybe a little more development from them because they felt like side characters.

…some wounds cut far too deep to ever heal and you just have to live with them, love around them, acknowledge their pain when you shift against their edges and then simply keeping on…

pg. 177-178

This book introduced third person chapters throughout the book. The first book and the rest of this book were from Lei’s point of view. I really enjoyed these scenes! They were a good insight into what was happening with characters we left behind. I would have liked to have seen these chapters in the first book, if only for consistency’s sake.

One thing I didn’t love was the magic and battles. The magic didn’t feel fleshed out enough to me. I was confused about it most of the time. I also don’t love battles and there is a bit of that in this book, which I didn’t expect.

I want a few things from the last book. I want to see more of Lei interacting with her dad and aunt. Her love for her family has been her motivation for a long time, but I want to see her spending more time with them. I also really want to see Wren and Lei deal with the events of the end of the book. A lot happened and they have a lot to unpack.

Overall, I still think I liked the first book better, but I’m invested in these characters. I can’t wait to see what happens in the third and final book!

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2 thoughts on “Girls of Storm & Shadow (Girls of Paper & Fire #2) by Natasha Ngan

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