Your audiobook is waiting…

Girls of Paper and Fire

Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (286 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

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 learn 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. 

©2018 Natasha Ngan (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 cofounder of We Need Diverse Books)

"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)

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    78
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    129
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    14
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen!

5 stars for a great story performed beautifully! I found myself sucked into a whole different world mixing Asian culture and magic with a beautiful love story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, Sub par narrator

I was excited when I read the synopsis of this book. A F/F romance set in a fantasy kingdom is right up my alley. I really tried to get into this audio book but the narrator is no good. Her tone doesn't carry the emotion that the characters are feeling across effectively. I would recommend that if you're interested in this story to read the physical book instead.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wow!

OMG what a excellent book! I'm not normally a fan of fantasy books but James Patterson is my all-time favorite author so when he came out with this book I knew I had to give it a try and boy was I surprised! It's got everything.... romance, fantasy, action and comedy. The characters were so well written and with just enough detail. it's a rather long book but I wouldn't have known it because I was hooked from the very start and could not put it down until it was finished. I'm so impressed with everything about this book. I can't speak highly enough about the narrator either she did a wonderful job. I really hope there's a sequel!!! I give this book 5 stars all the way around, HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Strong, Brave Female Roles!

Synopsis: Girls of Paper and Fire revolves around a seventeen-year-old girl named Lei who was taken from her family as a Paper Girl to serve the king. As she learns what this means and the oppression that stems from the caste system in place, she struggles with her own fate. 🥺 She opens up to a fellow Paper Girl, Wren, and the two form a beautiful and romantic relationship. 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩 But once the king finds out, both their fates are doomed.

Have you ever read a book where you can’t quite rate it because some things were done so well and others were a bit bothersome? 🤷🏻‍♀️If so, then hear me out on this one. Because overall, this book is 💯 worth it but I also want to be transparent. 👻

Here’s my twofold review: I gave an astounding 5 ⭐️ to the imagery, plot, and character development of this book. The vibrancy in setting the scene was descriptively perfect! And the narration of this alternative realm was so well-crafted that I was completely drawn in. Also, I ABSOLUTELY loved the characters! 🧡

BUT what fell short was the commitment to critical events that stood as pivotal turning points for both Wren and Lei. That and...the pacing.

What do I mean... as a novel that embraced an LGBT protagonist, I thought more emphasis could have been placed on the actual defining experiences than just the feelings before and after. I think, as a reader, I would’ve had a deeper connection with Wren and Lei if I was carried through a lot of their “firsts” rather than just hearing about them after the fact. (I know this sounds vague and I’m intentional being so because I don’t wanna give anything away). But it kinda bummed me out that the most climatic scenes occurred within the last 100 pages of the book and were slightly brushed over (which, TBH, was why I had to resort to listening to it on audio 🎧).

So that’s why I settled on a 4 ⭐️ rating. This book does allude to a sequel, so that’s exciting! And I frankly think this series could grow better with time and confidence! Also, I should mention some trigger warnings to those who are looking into this as a possible upcoming read: sexual assault and violence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So many problems

There are several reasons I despise this book but here are a few: rape, girl on girl hate, branding of a girl, slavery, and physical abuse. I had no enjoyment reading this book and I am actually upset that I spent so much time reading this because it feels like a waste.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

No fue lo que esperaba

Para empezar debo decir que lo que más interesante me pareció del libro es como están divididas las distintas castas. Los de papel son la casta más baja y son 100% humanos; Los de acero son aquellos que tienen mutaciones entre humanos y demonios, y finalmente los reinantes, la casta de la luna, quienes son 100% demonios. ⠀
La idea del libro me sonaba muy interesante, y quizás pudiese echarle la culpa a mis expectativas de una protagonista que luchara contra la norma, que no se dejara bajo la presión, alguien con más carácter. Pero lamentablemente no. Si bien Lei se resiste un poco en un principio no tiene la voluntad realmente para hacer algo. Está llena de miedos, y su única fuente de seguridad será su relación amorosa (lo digo así por las dudas que fuese un spoiler. En la historia, será la pareja quien tendrá la historia interesante, quien dirigirá lo que uno realmente espera que suceda desde el inicio en la historia y se levanten contra el rey, mientras que a ella hay que "cuidarla" porque es "super especial" y solamente la dejan actuar cuando realmente no hay otra solución. En resumen, la protagonista se ve bastante desdibujada siendo más bien a quien hay que salvar, y no la salvadora.⠀

Durante el libro hay escenas bastante perturbadoras. En principio todas las chicas son reclutadas para ser "concubinas" del rey, pero la realidad es que lo único que son es esclavas sexuales. Su único trabajo es esperar que el rey las llame para tener relaciones y asegurarse de nunca quedar embarazadas. El rey realmente nunca las considerará como esposas, simplemente son juguetes sexuales a quienes somete (en muchos casos violentamente) si no cumplen con sus deseos. ⠀

Por supuesto que las chicas de papel tienen totalmente prohibido tener algún otro tipo de relación además de servir al rey, por lo cuál ya verán el problema que tiene la protagonista cuando se involucra en una relación prohibida, no solo porque no debe, sino porque además es con otra mujer.⠀

Me gusta que el libro tenga representación LGBT+ pero al final del día, solo es otro libro con la mujer que necesita ser salvada porque no tiene las herramientas para hacerlo por ella misma. ⠀

En resumen, el libro me decepcionó bastante. El principio enfoca mucho en la fantasía y explicación del mundo y amé esa parte, pero después se enfoca diría en un 80% en el romance y pierde la trama y los objetivos. Nuevamente aclaro que esto es a gusto personal, si prefieren una historia donde el romance sea el principal punto de la trama entonces seguramente van a disfrutar de esta historia. ⠀

⚠️ Advertencias: ⠀
El libro contiene una escena de violación explícita y muchas escenas de violencia contra mujeres. ⠀
Además a mi parecer, hay un poco de síndrome de Estocolmo, ya que una de las chicas se termina enamorando del rey cuando lo único que básicamente es usarla sexualmente. ⠀

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Book and Okay Narration

This book wasn't completely exciting for me. Sometimes I felt like Ngan was lost in the poetic-ness and didn't give me juicy plot to sink into. I'm still eager to read the next book.

The narration was okay, I guess. I could listen to the narrator all day, sure, but I felt like she wasn't giving me the emotions I needed. She really had three voices: female, male (only used on the gruffer males), and Eagle lady (I forget her name). No matter what the scene, she always used the same tone. During violent or sexually graphic scenes, it was still the cheery, upbeat voice.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

!!!!!!O◇O AMAZING

Ms. Hiroto does a perfect job capturing the characters voices and bringing to life an incredible world woven by Natasha Ngan. recommended to everyone

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ellie
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • 08-18-19

not a fan of the reader

the narrator over enunciates and speaks very slowly. I am aware that the sound can be sped up, but for most books I don't have to. the story itself seemed drug out and didn't exite me like I'd hoped. it wasn't bad, it just was disappointing since I had high hopes for it. it's too predictable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Story Line

Easy read or listen to. I would have loved for a more detailed dramatic ending of the aftermath. It took me a while to realize that this was an Asian cultured book. I got a little discouraged at the beginning because of all the mythical creatures...I could have settled for regular people. Once you get passed the thought of that then it all comes together.