Dearest Flamingos,

I hope that you’re all well and reading! I haven’t read anything for two weeks now; I just haven’t found the right book to read next yet. Anyhow, having Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, as the last book I read, this post will be dedicated for it!


This opportunity would not be possible if it weren’t for Erika, from The Nocturnal Fey ; it’s my first time to be participating in a Blog Tour and to be honest, I didn’t know how I would do. After a successful reading experience, I am looking forward to participate in more Blog Tours in the future. Being a Filipino, I find the experience of reading a book that embraces Asian culture and thematic is priceless.

Forest of A Thousand Lanterns CoverTitle: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Author: Julie C. Dao

Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult

Publisher: Philomel Books

Release Date: October 10th 2017


An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


You can’t have everything, Xifeng. You can’t have him and still have me too. He doesn’t share and neither do I.


Below is an excerpt from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns,

The Imperial Palace seemed to Xifeng an earthly rendering of the Dragon Lord’s home in the heavens. It shimmered through the gates, a colossus of gold roofs, pillars and courtyards of stone. She stared at it with the strange sensation that it gazed back — recognized her. Her fate lay here in this vast city of interconnected buildings linked by covered corridors, and in a moment she would enter.

Will I ever come out again?

She squared her shoulders and approached the guards. “The Crown Prince requests my presence,” she told them. They stared as though they had never seen anything like her. One of the had an eye that kept twitching suspiciously. “His Highness said to tell you I seek the Little Fisherman.” She had no idea what that meant, other than it was some sort of password Wei had left for her. But it seemed to work, for they stepped aside to let her through.

“Find Master Kang in the Sunset Pagoda, at the top of the stairs,” the twitching-eye guard said pompously. “His Highness has instructed him to take you to Master Yu and Madam Hong.”

Xifeng held her head high. She would not be intimidated by their scornful appraisal of the important sounding names he had flung at her. At least, she could appear not to be intimidated.

She crossed a courtyard of rocks like gray eggs, and a great emptiness rose up to meet her. A meditative, eerie silence reigned here, though guards in fine armor were stationed everywhere. It made her feel more alone than ever, and she felt Wei’s absence like a phantom limb.

The ache was so sharp she had to pause for breath, his face swimming before her eyes. He had always been there, a thread of joy in her frayed life, and now he was gone, off to begin the life he’d lead without her. Had she done right to push him onto a different path? If only she’d been brave enough to tell him he was far too good for her. She was nothing but a selfish coward who could neither love him nor let him go.


Julie C. Dao

Julie C. Dao ( is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.


I created a playlist over at Spotify to enhance the reading experience of Forest of a Thousand LanternsI’m glad to be sharing it all with you; however, it’s my first time to create a playlist for a book — so please do bear with me if you think my song choices could be better or not as fitting to the book as much as I thought. You can go search for it in Spotify, and download the entire playlist so you can enjoy it while reading Forest of a Thousand Lanterns on a lazy Sunday afternoon.



Don’t forget to visit the other blogs participating in the Tour!

October 27th

The Nocturnal Fey – Erika

The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Rafael

The Ultimate Fangirl – Bianca

October 28th

The Nerdy Side of a Queen – Nicay

dmcireadsblog – Danielle

Camillea Reads – Patricia Camille

October 29th

Bookablereads Book Review – Carmel

Reading Flamingo – Abigail

Amidst the Pages – Imo

October 30th

The Hogsmeade Reader – Danica

The Purple Nightingale – Janella

Descendant of Poseidon Reads – Joel

October 31st

Afire Pages – Karina

The Queen Reads – Elena

the broke biblioPHL – Hana


Last but not the least, don’t forget to join the GIVEAWAY for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! Have a bookish day, Flamingos!

Visit my Instagram and chat with me there!



Abi, the Flamingo.