PLEASE NOTE THAT IMAGES DO NOT SEEM TO BE WORKING DUE TO MY INTERNET BEING A PILE OF TRASH…WIL TRY TO FIX THIS LATER
Her soul yearns to help people and save lives. Why else would Heaven grant her a singing voice that can heal any ailment? But if the palace discovers her power, she’ll be selected for the annual Showcase, where the most beautiful and magically gifted girls in Seracedar Kingdom compete for the chance to enter the emperor’s harem. That’s the last thing Rilla wants.
To avoid such a fate, she hides her power. No matter how the other villagers ridicule her for being worthless and talentless, she suppresses the urge to reveal her powerful voice and prove them wrong. When a palace scout poisons Rilla’s auntie and coerces her into revealing her power, she’s thrown into the competition. The scout threatens to harm her family if she doesn’t win. But Rilla learns there really is no winning. The emperor and empress keep girls with magical powers as pets. In cages. With some help from a handsome, but brooding prince and his mysterious bodyguard, Rilla must outsmart the palace and escape. If she fails, she’ll spend the rest of her life as the royal couple’s puppet, using her voice to grant them eternal youth.
Title: Under A Lavender Moon
Series: Nightingale Songs (#1)
By: Christina Mai Fong
Published By: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: February 11, 2021
Page Count: 350
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance
Content/Trigger Warnings: Extremely gory, death, rape, assault, abuse, suicidal thoughts, mental health, body mutilation and branding, death of babies, loss of pregnancy.
Funnily enough, I always wanted to write a retelling of The Nightingale, so, I was pretty happy to see this in a YA fantasy format!
This book has a lot of potential. The world is really interesting and I liked how powers were the norm but there was also such a vast variety. Also, those without powers weren’t looked at differently, and I rather liked that.
The only thing is those girls without any power can’t audition to become part of the Emperor’s harem, and Rilla’s mom made sure she hid her powers to avoid the fate everyone wants.
So why didn’t Rilla’s mom want her to become part of the Emperor’s harem? Well, the answer for that is in the book haha but it was pretty cool how her mom ended up knowing something more than the rest and I loved how that played into the family history in a way.
Rilla’s power should never be at the hands of another but unfortunately it wouldn’t be much of a book if she was able to hide her powers and live peacefully with her family.
Our MC is taken to the Emperor’s estate with a multitude of other girls and they’re all trained and prepped to either serve the Emperor or serve those other women that serve him.
Rilla goes through many highs and lows, there’s so much to unbox both for her and for us and it gets dark so quick. I think I had a hard time with the writing style and the characters maybe seemed to be too fluid for me in their personalities.
This book ended up not really being a book for me but I really enjoyed the pacing and the ending definitely intrigues you to want to read what happens next. Rilla certainly does a huge change from page 1 to the final chapter.
Thank you so much to Acorn Publishing and Xpresso Tours for an eARC of this, it’s sure to be a really intense series so I would suggest it to those who love Romance and Darkness with a really awesome world and powers.
About the Author
I was a Bio major, pre-med in college, but I couldn’t stand the sight of blood. I used to write poems and stories in the margins of my science notebooks. Well, after a reality check, I decided to pursue a career in Food Science because I like food, and everyone needs to eat. Meanwhile, I continued to write. My absolute FAVORITE books are YA Fantasy, so it’s no surprise that I chose to write it, too.
Having been raised in Southern California, where there’s a healthy blend of cultures, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t put an Asian American spin in my stories. And having always been the “quiet, shy girl,” who often felt like a wallflower even though I wanted desperately to be the heroine, I’m so glad I now get the opportunity to make the underestimated good girls my heroines. But of course, I’m forcing them out of their comfort zones so they have to embrace their dark side and kick some villainous butt.
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
$20 Amazon gift card
The Rest of the Tour