One week since our challenge began! Today’s topic is debut author.

Honestly I don’t know if it was her real first book as she seems to have published another one but with only 20 ratings on Goodreads I would say it was a “trial and error” book.

My choice of the day is YA and fantasy!

Julie C. Dao has written A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and I adored this book!

Here is an excerpt of what I wrote about it:

“First thought: Julie C. Dao is gutsy (I wanted to go for b@llsy but I will keep this PG rated)!

It’s not every day that you have a main character that is not completely “white” even if Xifeng is Asian. I speak about character’s trait here not skin color!

One of my blogger’s friends (yes Shruti that’s you) recently published a very interesting post about: female YA character wanted (link HERE).

Here are the prerequisite to fit the job:

-The heroine should have an obscure name. Well I don’t know if Xifeng is an obscure name in Asia…

-The heroine should be an orphan or raised by a single mother. Xifeng lost her mother, never knew her father and is raised by her aunt Guma.

-Be white. Well no Xifeng is Asian!

-She should never realize how pretty she looks. Well this is so not the case! Xifeng knows she is gorgeous. She is obsessed with her beauty as it is her best tool to fulfill her ambitious destiny. You could even compare Xifeng to the evil Queen in Snow White who scrutinize anxiously her reflection every day.

-Among other responsibilities she should save the world. No. Again Xifeng does not want to save the world. She wants to rule the world, big difference!

See how this YA Fantasy heroine does not take the conventional path? Hail to Julie C. Dao!


Second thought: this read was a treat and a trick. Sorry Halloween just ended just bear with me as I’ve been conditioned by my kids these days.

A treat because the penmanship is gorgeous. The setting in Asia with silk clothes, paper lanterns, quiet ponds and measured words accompanied by inscrutable faces make for a tale instead of a story.

But under the polished veneer feelings, hate, hunger are burning bright! Xifeng is my trick. I adore this concept of living Snow White evil Queen’s life BUT walking in her shoes was not easy!”


Do you get why I chose this author? Julie C Dao does not take the easiest path and I respect her for that.

Who is your debut author of the day?

Thanks for reading again!


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