Review – Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Storm and Shadow
Girls of Storm and Shadow

Book Title: Girls of Storm and Shadow

Book Description: In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost. Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn't the end of the plan---it's just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei's head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within. Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

Book Author: Natasha Ngan

Book Format: Hardcover

Date published: 2019-11-05

Number Of Pages: 418

  • Writing - 8/10
  • Development - 8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
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Review – Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Storm and Shadow is the second novel in the Girls of Paper and Fire series by Natasha Ngan. The first novel took the literary world by storm, and there’s little doubt that this book is about to do the same.

Lei somehow managed to survive the world she had been thrown into at the beginning of Girls of Paper and Fire. She grew, and so did her need for revenge. And for change. She rose up and did the unthinkable. She killed the emperor.

Girls of Storm and Shadow brings us back to the dangerous and deadly world that Lei has grown up in. And once again, our heroine is championing for change. Only things haven’t gone quite according to plan. For one thing, her greatest achievement ended up being false.

Girls of Storm and Shadow, like its processor, is an extremely heavy novel. There are sensitive subjects covered within these pages, but Ngan does so with grace. Still, I would like to warn and remind readers that there are themes such as sexual assault and PTSD to be found within this book.


Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Where Girls of Paper and Fire was an epic tale of a Paper Girl rising up and doing the unthinkable, Girls of Storm and Shadow is all about rebellion. Natasha Ngan brought us back this dark world that we can’t help but be fascinated by. And she turned it all upside down.

This is a world torn apart by corruption and rebellion. And it’s not as easy to tell one apart from the other. There are many poignant moments written into this novel, and all of them will weigh heavy on our hearts.

Lei was the shining light in this novel. She was just as hopeful and determined as ever – even while dealing with the emotional trauma that won’t seem to fade. Girls of Storm and Shadow shows us what a person can go through, and still come out fighting. There are plenty of powerful messages to be found in that.


Girls of Storm and Shadow was a relatively fast-paced read. We were introduced to many new characters along the way. And along with them came even more complications – as one might expect. It was harrowing to read at times, but all the buildup will be worth it in the end.

This novel increased political scheming and drama tenfold. Given what Lei is trying to accomplish, it was a necessary decision. It added even more complexity to a tale that was already bursting at the seams. And thus the world feels a bit more real and richer.

Naturally, Girls of Storm and Shadow was a novel full of heart-stopping moments. And some of those moments included some gratifying or intense fight scenes. After all, one cannot have a rebellion without a skirmish or two. These scenes were aided by the emotional connection forged by the main and secondary characters. It was hard to breathe while watching (rather, reading) them risk their lives time and again.

But perhaps the highlight of the entire novel is how much Ngan was able to hide in plain sight. There are hints of the truth between the lines. They’re not easy to spot, but they are there nonetheless. It combines shockingly well with the strong sense of foreshadowing which grows throughout the book.


Girls of Storm and Shadow was a powerful and exhilarating read. I was a bit concerned about the second novel slump in this series, but clearly I needn’t have bothered. This is a novel worth reading. Lei’s tale is growing more powerful by the minute.




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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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