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Girls of Paper and Fire Readalong: Day 7

Photo by @multifandom.bc

Welcome, FairyLooters, to our very last day of the Girls of Paper and Fire readalong!

Today we learn how it all ends! Who’s excited?

I can’t quite believe it’s the last day already, the week has gone by so fast! Don’t forget you can still enter the competition (details in day 5) for a free box; it ends tonight and we will announce the winner soon after!

Shall we get to it? I know we’re all super curious, what after the cliffhanger we had yesterday!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Girls of Paper and Fire chapters 1-37 inclusive. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!

-!SPOILERS!-

 

Aaaaaand our mystery guy is Kenzo! Have you guessed it right?

We learn from him all about house Hannos’ history and the motivation behind the secret rebellion that seems to have been brewing for generations. What a crappy situation to be in!

He’s also checking her ability to defend herself in a fight, of course a bit harsher than Wren was. He has a point, nobody will go easy on her once the real fighting begins. I love how our main character is not this girl who’s fluent in every martial art skill there is and she knows it. So she uses her wits instead, pretending she’s crying before kicking him right in the nuts. If that’s not brilliant, what is? They both have this moment; you know, where they find it almost ridiculous that you can laugh at such time so you laugh even harder? I’ve had so many of those. I loved this scene, maybe the most out of the whole book.

She’s to kill the king. That’s what she is now set to do. Things are going to get real. 

I really thought Blue already knew about Wren and Lei since the bath scene, but it seems like it only clicks with her just now. But as we all predicted, she’s going to snitch our girls out for her own personal gain. But the way the author wrote this character I am not even mad at her, because I feel like her sole purpose in life is to be accepted by her father and she just can’t see any further than that. It’s just what she is. It’s almost as if she can’t help it, so even though she’s harming us the only emotion I feel for her is pity. I think you really need some talent to write a character this way! What do you guys think?

They brought her family! 

No no no, come ON. Can Lei get a break! They have clearly not heard anything from her before and this is the first time we see them since the very start of the book, and with the goal that she now has, what are the chances her family will be safe? Was the dog not enough *cries*.

Remember how I said I hope we get more Zelle – yay! (a very temporary yay, *cries more*). She has been plotting alongside Wren! We should have seen this coming – she was the only one to show some type of resistance to the whole order. Can’t believe I didn’t guess this!

Hell to the yes to her standing up and threatening general Yu now! Not exactly the faith I was hoping for him but still satisfying. 

Aw the secret origami message was a wren bird.

Lei tries to pretend she’s changed her mind about the king and woos him outside. Some men just want to believe, what they want to believe…

…Okay never mind haha, he saw through that. I’m sort of glad for plot purposes because it would have been such a face palm moment if he was that gullible. Especially since he has spend the majority of the book getting more and more paranoid. Lei should have known better; she knew his trust was very faint these days. 

Noooo Naja snaps Zelle’s neck! She was my favourite character! 

Fast forward through the main fight – Wren comes back like a knight in shining armour to save us (good thing because we needed help!)- Lei stabs the king and they escape. Now I KNOW they were in a hurry but check the pulse!!!  Aaaaah I can’t believe the king survives. I mean I can, but aaaaah I wish they checked the bloody pulse!! SO close!!

You know who does check it? The bloody fox lady! She’s all like:

But we meet our Sass Owl. Honestly, I know we only got a couple of pages with this majestic sassy owl person/creature but I need it in my life. 

You’re looking a little … panda-form‘ pahahaha

HER WORD! We finally learn her word from the pendant.

It’s Flight. What do you think?? Speculate away! What does this mean for the next book?

That is a wrap on this readalong!! Please share all your thoughts down below! Also, Anissa will be speaking with the author live on Instagram on the 27th of November, 6pm GMT time. If you want, you can submit a question by clicking here and it might be asked during the live! Please keep it spoiler-free so everybody can enjoy the stream!

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for joining! It has been a magical experience reading with you all and I really hope you guys had fun! Let me know if you enjoyed the readalong and if you’re keen on participating in another one? You shall endure me as your host for our November read to hehe.

Hope you have a wonderful evening and I will see you with another read very soon!

Love,

G

48 thoughts on “Girls of Paper and Fire Readalong: Day 7

  1. I’m not good. Not after that end. Not after knowing that he isn’t fuck*ng dead!
    And Zelle noooooo! 😭 You can’t do that to me!
    Also didn’t guess Lei’s word. Was I surprise by the word? Yes.
    And finally, thanks Fairyloot for your october choice! This book is so good!

    Ps: I hate Blue so much…

    Come and talk to me about this book on instagram @leslecturesajigoku78

    1. I don’t know… I’m not 100% sure Blue was responsible for her family being brought there

  2. Thanks so much G for your great summaries each day. This has been a great way to actually read the book – even though I had to read ahead. It did make me stop and think about what I was feeling tho so that’s great.

    Here’s my response when I’d finished.

    Nooooooooooooooooooo. That was my reaction as I read the last line.
    What a dramatic conclusion.
    Lei had to step up to the plate and she did. I thought she had succeeded to. Against all the odds.

    Zelle and Kenzo 😭😭

    Hopefully her family is safe. But what about Lill and Aoki.

    Merrin seems cool – there’s something about guys with wings 😂😂

    And we got the first letter right in Lei’s word but is was Flight not Fire. Interesting.

    Book 2 is required ASAP.

  3. This readalong was so much fun! ❤
    And the book was amazing, the last chapters were so intense! So, here are my thoughts (they are completely out of order because Girls made a mess out of my brain)
    -WREN GOT BACK! In warrior clothes😍
    – Why, Zelle, why did you had to die 😭
    – Please let her family be okay, please let her family be okay
    – WHY DIDN’T SHE CHECKED THE PULSE, he is a Demon King for Gods sake
    – More of Marrin in the next book, please!
    – And what about her eyes? I want to know why they got this color!

    What about you guys?

    – Julia

    1. I honestly didnd’t think about checking the King’s pulse. When I read how she ‘killed’ him I just thought he was dead 😂🙈

      Just wondering, is the female fox in love with the Bull king?

      1. I definitely think the Fox guard is in love with the King. I think she always name called Lei because she was jealous of her and the other girls getting to be intimate with him.

  4. This was an utterly amazing read! It just got so intense at the end there, it was like everything was happening at once. I honestly think this was one of my favourite FairyLoot books ever!

    I’m so upset about Zelle! She was a really interesting character and I enjoyed seeing through the cracks in her armor. I can’t believe what happened to her, it was such a shock. This has got to be the most upsetting scene since the dog at the beginning, and there have been an abundance of upsetting stuff since then.

    I like the way the books set things up for the next book. I’m so interested to learn all about the people Lei and Wren have ended up with. I just want these two beautiful girls to end up happy, is that so much to ask?

    I also want to say how much I’ve enjoyed this readalong! I haven’t had the time to post everyday, but I’ve always read the comments and found time for the chapters to be read. It’s been so much fun, reading with you all and I can’t wait to do it again! Thanks, G!

    1. My guess is that Wren and Lei eventually end up happy. But as the writer is sometimes a bit cruel with letting lovely characters die 😭 I’m a bit afraid of their fate.

      1. I think they get together but lose a huge amount before then ;-;

  5. hahahaha This ending! I was secretly hoping for the King not to be dead because if he was what would have been the second book about?

    I still want to know about that secret hidden Queen though. And for Wren coming back, so not a surprise but I loved it! She was supposed to be there.

    Oh yes I’m here for another readalong! anytime haha Thank you!

    1. I think the hidden queen might fight against the Palace. That she is hiding somewehere (hidden queen, you get it? 😂) and that she’ll support Lei, Wren, etc. My guess is that the squad will encounter her in the next book.

      1. Mmmmmh interesting! I hope so haha

  6. I started reading this amazing book when my book box first arrived. When I got to the end of the book I was happy that Wren came back to help Lei. I was so sad that Zelle got killed! She was my favourite character! 😭 but the fight that Lei had with the King was so intense! When Wren and Lei left I was hoping the king was dead but he’s not! 😱😤🤬 it just makes you wonder what will happen next. But what really puzzles me is what happened to the solider who was fighting the fox? He was helping Wren with her training and then helped Lei with her training, but last we heard of him he was battling the Fox. Now we know the fox lady survived so the only other thing is she killed the solider 😭 I am so hoping that he isn’t dead because he was another one of my favourite characters!

    Reading through the whole book, I enjoyed it. Sometimes it was hard to read, other parts were sweet and then the next parts were intense. I did enjoy the story, the characters and just everything to do with the story 😍 I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book 😁 x

    1. I liked Kenzo, the wolf warrior/guard too. Unfortunately, he is most definitely dead. If you reread the section where the fox guard was checking to see if the king was alive, it briefly mentions the body of the wolf lying on the ground.

  7. Phew, that was a ride! So.. I thought the first few chapters were okay, the Palace scenes were amazing, but the last chapters? Meh… I’m a bit let down.

    Wren is delayed and out of all people, they choose Lei to do the job? (aka kill the king) Not someone else from the rebellion group who offers to kill him, sacrifice himself/herself? Why would they choose her? Because Wren trusted her?…

    Also, Zelle dies and this makes me really sad. She was badass! Lei is almost dead, but then Wren comes and she saves the day. The timing just irks me, she could come earlier or later, but no, she is just there when Lei is almost dying. How did she get there anyway? I probably missed that part.

    The two ladies fly away on the back of an owl demon. Which makes me wonder, how big are these demons? Anyway, the owl is sassy, nice panda joke, mate! And they fly off to.. yeah?? eh.. haha. There was no map included in this edition, so I find it hard to locate where they are heading 😅

    They land, Lei opens her pendant. And I expected her word to be ‘Fire’ or something, but it’s ‘Flight’. At first I thought that was kinda lame, but now it’s okay, I guess.

    The end.

    But no, the king is still alive! He will heal and seek revenge and Lei, Wren and their squad will have to run/fight back in the sequel. I think there will be a lot of destroyed villages in upcoming books, and I think Baba and Tien will die 😬

    Are you going to read the sequel? I’m not sure yet. I wish this book was a standalone, the ‘fight back’ plot (for the upcoming book prob) reminds me a bit of the Seige and Storm (Grisha trilogy) which I didn’t like haha 🙈

    in general I thought this was a pretty solid book. I would give it 3.4 stars. How would you guys rate it? ⭐️✨⭐️✨

    – Honeybookz

    1. By the way, thank you so much for hosting this readalong! It was so much fun joining!

    2. I’m glad it’s not just me who thought a lot of this. Though, I don’t know how it could have gone another way with the way things had been told.

    3. Yeah I agree with a lot of what you have to say there! This is going to be a trilogy I believe, and I have a theory on why maybe they had Lei try to kill the king rather than another person – short story is she’d be a good person to take the fall without leading back to an involvement with the Hannos!

      I think what’s left of her family will die too, but perhaps later in the series, and If I keep reading I really hope to learn more on the demon queen 😊

  8. Ahhh! I finished the book before the read along started, so I haven’t been joining in with you guys but been reading the posts and comments and it’s been so much fun! Just wanted to say thank you for making it so fun and engaging, especially when it’s such a positive/important book in terms of diversity and subject matter.
    Hope everyone enjoyed 💖

  9. I was not okay with the ending even after steeling myself for it !! Zelle and Kenzo were such great characters !!
    I worry about the person who betrayed Hannos. Is it someone we already know or someone we’ll meet in the next book.
    And what happened to the other girls ?!!
    I’m not really angry with Blue. She is sooo broken, she never had a chance in life. What she did is horrible and at the same time it must have seemed like justice to her considering the sick twisted world she grew up in.
    I was so happy Aiko and Lei patched things up. I really thought she would be the one to betray Lei and Wren. I’m soooo glad I was wrong and a “man” didn’t come between them. Although how she’ll react to Lei killing (except not really) the king is still an unknown.
    So…. I haven’t started an unfinished series in a very long time. How do people cope with the wait ?

    1. I think some of the other paper girls, like at least one will have died… I mean huge fight broke out and the place was burning down there has to be casualties.

      Also I think actually Aoki rather than Blue told the king about Lei and Wren… plot wise it would give a way for the friends to turn on each other in upcoming books, but it also explains how her family was brought there as a way to punish her – which if Blue told the king after finding out about her secret there wouldn’t be time for them to travel all that distance, let alone know about it and try dress and prepare…

      I feel like betrayal and heart break are awaiting us readers

  10. Well I have to be honest and say I was a little disappointed by the ending. 😬 There was such a big focus on Wren being this badass (which she is) that had been training for YEARS to assassinate the king and then at the last minute they are relying on Lei to do it. Erm say what now? That just didn’t sit right with me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Lei, and I liked that we were following the story of someone who wasn’t a badass warrior so it made no sense for her to do it.

    I’m sad that Zelle died. She was such a great character. And the wolf guy — I’m pretty sure he’s dead right? I really liked him.

    I’m annoyed Lei found out her mother was dead by the King making a throwaway comment (which I don’t believe at all, she’s definitely still alive) right toward the end. And I’m annoyed that we never once met the queen.

    The part with Lei and Wren flying away on a demon and then suddenly meeting the kings bird warriors felt completely random to me.

    I was glad to see Wren back though and I want her and Lei to have a happy ending. It was a surprise that the king isn’t dead but he’s definitely a good villain cuz I hate him so much!

    Overall I did enjoy the book but I feel like there were too many loose ends and things that didn’t add up for me to be completely satisfied with the story.

    I super enjoyed reading with everyone, thanks G for hosting and I can’t wait for the next one!

    I will be posting a review on my insta in the next couple of days
    @paperheartsink

    1. Don’t worry, I was a bit dissapointed too! 🙈 There was so much info crammed into the last chapters. At one point I was so confused, like.. what is actually happening? 😂 The last chapters didn’t make much sense to me,

      1. Yeah I agree with both of you! The bird flight (whilst maybe necessary to explain how Wren got there and needed for them to get away) was quite weird – and they could have just slipped away too, rather than the nearly half a chapter on it?

        Personally I think there’s a bit more to it, like the Hannos didnt want to sacrifice their daughter and someone pulled the strings so a more likely suspect could be blamed and take the fall for it. (Technically no one knew Wren was back in the pallace, so if the king died it would be penned only on Lei who then escaped – further helping keep the Hanno family safe and out the way… though maybe I’m reading too much into it with my hope for plot twists and betrayal)

  11. Petition for Kenzo, Zelle, Lei, Wren and Merrin to all live a happy life far away from Ikhara while being very much alive as a dysfunctional family. Please?

    (The following is going to be very tin foil hat/conspiracy theory. Sorry in advance…)

    About Lei’s pendant. Throughout the book, there is the constant theme of bird either symbolically or physically representing freedom mainly through their ability to fly. In the beginning chapters, Lei tells us that she is jealous of bird demons for their ability to fly and have the freedom to without hindrance. As Lei travels to the palace, she sees a swan demon in another carriage: trapped there even if it is by her own will. I think these bird references signify Lei’s freedom being taken away from her.

    When Lei is in the castle, we have Madam Himura. A eagle demon who consistently limits the freedom of the Paper girls and Lei through their routines and duties. We never see her fly which I like to see as a subtle hint to the lack of freedom in the palace. When Lei wants freedom/to escape, we see birds flying beyond the palace. The freedom in simple flight.

    When Wren and Lei become closer and eventually fall in love; we get more and more notions from Lei about escape/freedom. We learn about Wren’s Xia warrior stuff and Lei realises that Wren (bird symbolism) is the Paper Castes only hope for freedom. When Wren leaves that hope is at risk of being crushed. The wren physically is the signal Kenzo uses for freedom.
    Finally, we get to Merrin. He physically frees both Wren and Lei from the palace. He avoids the chasing birds demons until they are safe.
    Flight = freedom.

    I also can’t remember where it was in the book but we had the story about the Sky Gods and Ahla. I think this might happen in Ikhara. The demon King = Ahla? (The one who had absorbed the light.) and Lei = The one who defeats him/the sky God who fled and came back.
    The King will surely cast more darkness over the paper castes to find Lei and Wren. Also to stop any rebellions that might begin since the attack.

    My Predictions for the Characters:
    Blue – Her father isn’t promoted after the attack as the king attempts to regain control over the Paper Caste. Father blames Blue for this. Is asked by the king/father to be a spy for them.
    Chenna – Tries to help the war from the inside and will also try to escape. I think she may be useful to the war with her position as a paper girl.
    Zhen/Zhin – I think one may die and the other one joins the war in grief/revenge.
    Aoki – Stays loyal to the king. I think Lei and Aoki’s friendship died along with the king’s near death. I do think her naive actions/emotions will end up getting her killed; probably by the Demon king as he takes out his fustrations from the war on her,
    Baba – Dies. This causes a rift between Wren and Lei, but also a rift between Lei and what she believes is right. It’s gonna be sad.
    Tien – Either dies with Baba or survives with a new found resolve to protect Lei and Wren like a mother. Lei and Tien bond over this and she becomes vital in the war.
    Mistress Eira – Probably the one who betrayed the Hannos/Lei. Is now trusted more by the demon king and Mistress Himura.
    Mistress Himura – Helped betray Lei and Wren. She also become well trusted by the king and court.

    (I entered the competition! @theanthologyofabookworm )

    1. Wow, I think you’re absolutely right about the bird references! I didn’t even notice that!

    2. Interesting! I really really love your thoughts on the symbolism of birds and freedom and I feel like you’re right about it – it fits well and beautifully into the story!

      I also think that one of the twins will die, and that Aoki and Leis friendship is beyond repair (defiantly after trying to kill the king, but I think Aoki betrayed Lei before that)

      I feel like Chenna might be martyred later in the book, and like Blue will definitely end up a fighter trying to kill the king, I recon she’ll meet Lei again at some point. I agree that at least Baba will die, if not Tien too, maybe later and at separate times in the trilogy though. However I actually think that Mistresses Eira and Himura will be killed by the king – after all they allowed for ‘rotten paper’, a couple of paper girls to fall in love, a defiant paper girl, and a paper girl assassin… I mean – I really don’t see him being okay with all that 😅

      Good luck with the give away! I entered too 😊

    3. Oh my god. What if Lei is a moon caste demon bird. She has golden eyes. That would explain the colour of her eyes.

  12. After falling behind in the beginning I have powered through the last two days and finished this book this afternoon. And Oh My! That ending was super intense! I can’t believe that Wren managed to come just in time to save Lei and escape the court. I’m so upset that Zelle died but I’m glad that at least she helped Lei give that final blow to the king. I’m shooketh that he still had a faint pulse and I need to know what is going to happen now. I’m so happy that Wren and Lei escaped and are safe (for now?) and together. I am scared for the lives of Lei’s father and Tien as well as Aoki and the other paper girls. I was super angry and Mistress Eira for almost ruining Lei’s plan (the betrayal is real). I just have so much to say and I can’t form the right words but I adored this novel a 5 star read for me.

  13. Loved this book so much, I actually finished it a couple of days early cause I just couldn’t put it down! I really hope these read alongs become a regular thing as it really gave me the motivation to get on and read the book.

    As for that ending, I’m so upset about Zelle, I absolutely loved her and I can’t wait to see whether Lei and Wren get to avenge her eventually! And as for Blue, I agree, I’m mad at her for telling the king about Lei and Wren, but I’ve also come to feel very sorry for her, and I’m really interested to see what happens with her in the next book.
    I’m very intrigued by what ‘flight’ is going to mean for Lei, could it be something to do with bird-form demons? Something to do with her mother? I can’t wait to find out!
    Also the one good thing about the king not being dead…we get another chance to see him get hurt and humiliated and utterly destroyed!

  14. This was the first time I participated in a readalong, and the main reason I jumped in was that you were hosting it, G! You did a great job and I loved reading everyone’s opinions ans suppositions 🙂

    I think I’d rate this book 4 out if 5. Some things were too easy (like how the whole poisoning attempt had no consequences whatsoever) or made little sense (like asking Lei to take Wren’s place). But the characters and world building were amazing. I want to know everything about the Night War and all the clans!

    As for the ending, I was hoping that the king was really dead and the secret queen wouls step in and the rest of the serie would be paper girls against queen. Nevermind 😆
    Also, Kenzo is “motionless”, not “lifeless”, so there is hope 😜

  15. I am so sad right now. Zelle and Kenzo are both DEAD!!!!! How can this happen. I love meeting Merrin. He seems like he is going to be a fun character to get to know in book 2.

    I hope that Aoki, Babba and Tein are all safe. Although, Aoki will probably not forgive Lei for trying to kill the King.

    WHY ISN’T HE DEAD!!!!! I hate that the fox demon lived and is able to get the King the help he needs to survive. This is not going to bode well for anyone. I wonder if Lei and Wren’s actions will keep him from keeping the Paper Girls tradition.

    We still don’t know for sure anything about Lei’s mom or about the Demon Queen. I hope we find that out in a sequel.

    I like Lei’s interpretation of her word, flight. But my first thought was a more negative outlook. Like she is always destined to flee from her troubles. I hope that Lei’s interpretation is more accurate. I was expecting her word to be fire or something along those lines.

    I really enjoyed this read along and can’t wait for the next one!

  16. Those last few chapters were so intense, and I think I speak for everyone that I was shocked at the the last paragraph of the book. They were so close!

    As for the word, it wasn’t what I expected but it’s fitting. Lei wanted to escape the palace multiple times, observed birds often, loved a girl named after a kind of bird, and when she did escape it was on a bird demon. I’m not sure if what other meaning is begins the word, but we’re sure to find out in the next book.

    I’m glad I read this book with all of you, it made the experience a lot better.

    1. You’re right… The word fits perfectly

  17. I really enjoyed the book and will definitely read the next one. Some of the things that happened in the last few chapters were things I was expecting – Wren showing up to save Lei and the assassination attempt failing – while others took me completely by surprise. I’m shocked Naja killed Zelle. I was hoping we’d get to see a lot more of her in future books. And flight? Really? Running away doesn’t really fit Lei’s character so I’m hoping that isn’t the direction the story is heading.

    Thanks for hosting, G! The readalong was fun and I’d be happy to do more in the future.

  18. Well, I’m not sure how else that could have gone. To get another book out of this concept, the attack had to fail, favourite characters had to die to allow new ones in, and there had to be an info dump. The ending was a bit rushed, almost Harry Potter like, riding a great owl to freedom.
    The pendant opened and it’s ‘flight’. Like some others, I took this as a negative – she’s always going to be running. And with a nice big war on the cards for book two, I think there’s going to be a lot of running.
    And of course, the b***ard is alive still. I hope he’s suffering, even with magic healing, you know, like paralysed. I want him to really suffer for his arrogance and abuse.
    On the whole, I did enjoy Girls of Paper and Fire, but I wanted a bit more from the ending. Book two needs to kick some serious arse straight away.

  19. First of all just want to thank you G for holding this readalong. I know with your workload it’s a lot so I just want to say a huge thank you for doing this and that I appreciate you taking time to do this too (as everyone will most likely agree).

    I am completely in shock with the ending. Literally just sat like “WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUU??” I feel like I’m the only person who didn’t even think about her not checking his pulse, I just assumed he was dead haha!

    I really can’t wait for the next book and I really hope we’re not waiting too long for it!

    I posted yesterday about entering the competition but again my instagram is @kirstyreads 🙂

  20. My favorite moment in the book was between Kenzo and Lei, when he tests her. It was perfect. I loved it.

    Oh my…. all the action was left for the last few chapters. I could not turn the pages more quickly. But I liked the way this book ended. I am eager to learn more about the owl daemon. My new fav character. Also I am curious to see what happened to the other girls.
    I was a bit disappointed that in end Lei only cared about her family and she did not even ask about the girls.

    Overall a good read.

    G, thank you so much for hosting this read along. Everything was great. I loved the gif’s. I want more 😜
    But truly thank you.

    I hope there will be a read along for every book. It is a great motivation to read the books we recieve, when there are so many I want to reach for. Looking forward to the next one.

  21. I was enjoying these last chapters so much and then – that very last page comes along and ruins EVERYTHING! Whyyyyy? Why can’t the king be dead? Why did the stupid fox kill poor Kenzo? I am not okay with this! 😭
    But I reckon the king had to survive for the second book…. >.<
    Still, I do NOT approve!😤
    I‘m really worried about Tien and Lei‘s dad as well… I have a feeling they won’t survive. And I wonder what’s gonna happen to Aoki. I have that theory that maybe she is actually going to be queen…? Or maybe not, I don’t know.😂

    Anyways, I really loved Girls of Paper and Fire and I enjoyed this readalong a lot! It was interesting to read everyone’s thoughts and it also helped my so much to get the reading motivation!

    Thanks a lot for hosting this and see you in the next readalong hopefully! 💜

  22. Thanks so much for this readalong and It will be a pleasure to do the same next month.

    As for the last chapters they were so intense. I’m so sad about Zelle and Kenzo. And so pissed that the king isn’t dead.

    I hope that Lei will find her father and Tien in the next book.

  23. I hate Blue after the last chapters. But the character is well written! I liked Kenzo and Zelle. I am longing for the next book.

    I loved the readalong. It has motivated me to read this book this week. My child will be born soon and with the readalong I could finish this book before. Thank you. I hope I can particpate in the november readalong, too. I liked reading about the other opinions of this book!

  24. I can’t believe the King survived! I really thought he would be dead and the sequel would have someone else take over. The rumors of his infertility hinted to me that he wouldn’t be able to continue the Demon King line so someone else would need to step in. My thought was General Yu simply because he was another Bull Demon. I’m very curious how the King is going to treat the other Paper Girls after Lei and Wren tried to kill him. In his mind now 3 of his Paper Girls have betrayed him. Mariko, because she took a lover and he was already going to kill Lei because she loved Wren. I think nearly killing him is going to have serious consequences for the Paper Girls and probably the Paper Caste as a whole.

    1. I recon that the two mistresses are going to be killed due to how they ‘failed the king’ with their custody of the paper girls.

      I mean no girl had ever refused any of the kings in 200 years… and now three in one year have committed a variety of ‘crimes’ against the king.

      I’d king of like to see General Yu again too, but I think he’s going to be killed too for bringing Lei to the palace in the first place 😅

  25. I found Wrens disappearance and leave from the palace more suspicious as I read the though today… I mean fair if enough she was sent home and couldn’t be there to kill the king (as was said) but then dispute this being said she does turn up? Minutes after Lei stabbed the king? Clearly they had ways of getting her back into the palace, and I get that the element of surprise might have been lost but her reappearance makes not much sense to me… UNLESS her mother’s death was faked, the Hannos thought their attempt on the king would fail so got someone else (and Mr Wolf said) with motive and hate and a reason to make it look like a crime of hate?
    – then everything went to hell in a hand basket with the palace burning and suspected fights throughout the ball.

    Also HOW WAS THE KING STILL ALIVE? I get that you can survive stab wounds, and in all honesty I did indeed think he’d probably still be alive at the end of the book… but Wren was a warrior and trained assassin – so why didn’t she check he was dead or do something more to make sure?
    – I know the book explains it as a time thing (they had to get out of there to go! Escape!) and I think this is another reason why her absence in the first place could have been a set up… her wolf really wants her to get out of there and to survive… previously they thought she was the only one capable of this task, but they could have her survive, and have Lei attempt to kill the king – if it works then their heir Wren is still alive and now free from the king and far from the palace. If it doesn’t she can return after a period of mourning, unsuspected, and try again in her further 6 months.

    Mr Wolfs and Mrs Zelles deaths are both really sad as they were good characters I’d liked to have learned more about, and I still hope we’ll learn more on Mr Wolfe’s past, and perhaps Zelles too (her courtesan mother is still out there and there’s a glimmer of hope her lover might have escaped death as she thinks too).

    I also hate knowing many characters were left there – Lill and Aoki, other paper girls and her family being the main ones, and I really think Lill at least will be killed for her mistresses actions as the king will now be out for blood (I think the human mistress ex papergirl in charge will also be killed, and perhaps even Mrs Eagle). I recon her family will make it out… probably so they can die later in the trilogy (yay more reader cruelty!), and perhaps one of the twins might be killed in the incident it Chenna shortly after….

    However I think blue will survive and I think blue will make it out of the palace and definitely be reunited will Lei again, perhaps having some character ark and becoming an avenger like character herself…. now wait for it…

    I don’t think blue told the king about Lei and Wren…

    Okay, so she told and said she did, but I think the king knew before then – exhibit A after Wrens last hand brush with Lei before the banquet Lill tells Lei that the king had a surprise for her (327p), she knows the surprise will be bad and cruel. The next page she discovers Wren is gone from the palace, and in the aftermath of her reaction Blue whispers to her “so /that’s/ your dirty little secret, won’t the king be shocked to learn what you’ve been up to all this time?” She was suspicious before of them, but she clearly said nothing then, and only confirmed she’d realised their secret at that point. – exhibit B it takes time to travel to the palace, you cross land, they crossed the sea for about three days, we know her province is far from the capital… there’s about 24hours from blues threat at dinner to the next days festival. No mention of travel magic has been made, and the kings special army of bird people wouldn’t act as a taxi to bring her family over either… so the ‘surprise’ was prepared well in advance. This means that sadly Aoki is the most likely suspect for who told the king…

    Then there’s the king… I thought if he had died it would be interesting to me, but a politics based plot doesn’t appeal to many, so I figured he’d live. He hates Lei, and will defiantly want to hurt her badly, but I don’t know if he’ll want to keep her alive or kill her on sight (a papergirl wounding the bull king would be embarrassing, he wouldn’t want it out there so much)… however in a horrible twist another reader mentioned yesterday – Lei didn’t explicitly drink the anti pregnancy drink after that night, she arrived unconscious, and passed out again shortly after waking… if she was pregnant then he would keep her alive to torment her about it, not to mention that it’s suspected by many he can’t have children, so it would disprove the rummers and secure him as a king with an heir…

    I hope the next book will include the demon queen at some point, but I’m suspicious as to her being weirdly old or young or comatose or something strange like that. I also think we’ll meet the cat clan and that the cat clan general will be Wrens ex and there will be big romantic drama there

  26. Loved the readalong, it kept me motivated and I enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions. Will definitely participate in future!

    I think the King will survive but they won’t be able to save his eye (Zelle’s parting gift!) He will be even more brutal to the paper caste after this and will trust no one.

  27. Sooo is anyone else not as upset as me that Kenzo was killed??
    He was becoming my most intriguing character with Lei’s descriptions of him and the role he was playing. I thought he’d become super close to Lei and I’m not quite ready to face that stupid Naja killed him!
    Honestly these characters though; from the naïveté of Lill and Aoki’s love for the King to Wren and Naja’s badass-ness… it was amazing to have so much diversity within. I was literally feeling their emotions while reading.
    I also enjoyed the fact that Lei isn’t instilled with amazing gifts, but her defiance and belief in what is right drives her and gains the trust of those believing in a better world.
    I was rather impressed with the story and the way it was written (although, I have to be honest, I almost DNF’ed it at the scene when they killed Bao. Ugh, when pets die, *my heart*).
    This was fun to read-along with Fairyloot and I’m surprised that I finished it in 2.5 days!

  28. I loved this book SO MUCH.

    That cliff hanger ending though??? And why did none of them check the pulse??? And why did Zelle have to die???

    Girls of Paper and Fire was such a hard read, but it was also beautifully written and you can tell a huge amount of thought went in to it. I loved it and I’m definitely picking up The Elites sooner rather than later.

    My favourite quote from this final section was:
    “A war might be coming.
    But we have the wings to fight it.”

    I absolutely adored the readalong and I can’t wait for the next one! I’ve loved picking apart the story, discussing as we read, theorising and sharing ideas.

    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

  29. Maybe Fox lady is a demon queen?

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