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Publisher's Summary

Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of emperor in this richly imagined, Asian-inspired fantasy for fans of Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: assertive Lu will be named her father's heir and become the dynasty's first female ruler while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu's shadow. Until their father names their male cousin Set his heir instead, sending ripples through the realm and throwing both girls' lives into utter chaos. 

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu has no choice but to go on the run, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu soon crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the Ashina, a clan of nomadic wolf shape-shifters. Nok never learned to shift - or to trust the empire that killed his family - but working with the princess might be the only way to unlock his true power. 

As Lu and Nok form a shaky alliance, Min's own hidden power awakens a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set's reign...or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can be only one emperor, and the sisters' greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other.

This sweeping fantasy set against a world of buried ancient magic and political intrigue weaves an unforgettable story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

©2019 Mimi Yu (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Girl King

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  • Overall
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Incredible performances + story

Got this for my teenage daughters but ended up listening with them. Impressed with the writing. Performances stellar. Eunice Wong as the Girl King is fierce, Alison Hiroto captures the younger sister's daintiness. James Chen nicely create different voices, especially men's -- loved his "black flame" voice. Story is great, exciting epic. My girls loved it. Hope there will be more Girl King books.

6 people found this helpful

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Promising story marred by poor reading

I have conflicted feelings about this audiobook, On the one hand, the writing is good, the beginning successfully hooked me and all signs point to the story being exactly the kind of thing I love to read. But despite that, I have to confess that I wanted to return this one after only 3 chapters. I normally have a pretty high tolerance for Audible's reader choices (and Allison Hiroto did a fine job with her section), but James Chen's narration for Nok is overly stilted, emphasizes words wrong, and just plain painful to listen to. So I can't recommend spending a credit on this one. You'd be better off reading the story in print instead of listening to it, and I plan to pick The Girl King back up on my Kindle.

5 people found this helpful

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Maybe it’s the platform....???

I’m not sure if it was the platform of an audio book, but this story felt like it dragged as soon as the prologue ended. Maybe it was the performance of the narrators. Maybe it was because the story telling and world build just happens to be lackluster. I don’t even know what it was, but I do know that I didn’t enjoy the experience.

Maybe someone else will love it. Maybe I’ll love it as a book that I actually hold and read. So many and too many maybes.

Oh well.

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Soon to be a classic series of YA fantasy literature!

The Girl King is a standout YA fantasy novel, set in a fantastical imagining of an imperial East Asian dynasty. With all the qualities you love from this genre—the heroine’s journey, wrestling with destiny, discovering burgeoning otherworldly abilities—but introducing Yu’s sensitive engagement with the lasting impact of trauma as well as a critical analysis of imperialism, privilege, and power throughout. Both the writing and audio performances are excellent. Looking forward to the next book in the series!