Review – Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

I loved book 1 in the series Girls of Paper and Fire and did a full review here. And I couldn’t wait to get my hand on the second book!

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.

Girls of Storm and Shadows

by Natasha Ngan

Synopsis by NetGalley / GoodReads

The mesmerising sequel to the NYT bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire

The Girls of Paper and Fire did the impossible.
They escaped.
But out in the unforgiving wild, hunted like prey, Lei and Wren learn that the most terrifying prisons have no walls.

‘Beautiful and heart-breaking and meaningful . . . Ngan’s writing is stunning’ Young Adult Reads

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?

My Opinion


  • the world
  • Lei


This was a well-formed and well written middle book in a trilogy. It’s been a while since I’ve read a middle book that flowed like this.

I continue to love Lei for her sweetness and goodness and find the world magical.

I felt there were less Asian references in this book that the first book, but that may just be me.

The Story

The story continues after the first book with about a two-week time gap. It takes Lei around the country as she is trying to escape from the memories and the PTSD, though the bottle helps a bit too, and tries to recruit people for their cause. She has joined the Hannos and tries to fight against the King and stay out of his way at the same time.

The story flowed naturally throughout the book and the decisions and events occurred naturally too.

World Building

As a second book the world-building of the basics where done, but the book added to the first book due to travelling around and exploring the extent of the country. A typical feature for a second book and well-done in this series.

Magic System

The magic is not something our main character get involved with apart from her new knife (I think there is something more to that knife than we are told…). But both Wren and Hiro get deep into the magic which is all focused on the balance of the world.

Something is going on with Wren though and her magic powers. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s hinted at.


Lei is the main character and the narrator for the book. I really like her. She is good and kind and loving and also badass when needed.

Other characters like Wren and Bo and Merrin are great supports to Lei and her story. Oh, Bo…

There are the occasional chapters throughout the book which is narrated by someone else not part of the main story in book 2 but was featured in book 1. This is a great way to show what is happening elsewhere in the kingdom and to say hello to an old character.


Oh yes! Lei is very much a lesbian, but there are other queernesses in this book too.

It was interesting how the queerness wasn’t only a feature in the story on the side, it was part of the story. At some points, it caused some tension and in other parts is eased the tension and made things sweet.


It’s a well-written book but didn’t grip me completely and I’m not sure why. I had the same feeling about book 1 in the series.


Well done, looking forward to the third and last instalment!

Have you read this? What did you think?

4 thoughts on “Review – Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

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