Tuesday 4 October 2022

Book Review: Strike the Zither by Joan He (YA Historical Fantasy)

Title: Strike the Zither (Kingdom of Three #1)
Author: Joan He
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: 1 November 2022
Pages: 368
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The year is 414 of the Xin Dynasty, and chaos abounds. A puppet empress is on the throne. The realm has fractured into three factions and three warlordesses hoping to claim the continent for themselves.

But Zephyr knows it’s no contest.

Orphaned at a young age, Zephyr took control of her fate by becoming the best strategist of the land and serving under Xin Ren, a warlordess whose loyalty to the empress is double-edged—while Ren’s honor draws Zephyr to her cause, it also jeopardizes their survival in a war where one must betray or be betrayed. When Zephyr is forced to infiltrate an enemy camp to keep Ren’s followers from being slaughtered, she encounters the enigmatic Crow, an opposing strategist who is finally her match. But there are more enemies than one—and not all of them are human.

Strike the Zither was a delightful YA fantasy read. I've not yet read Three Kingdoms, so I went into the book with no expectations as to the storyline. Zephyr was a fun character, and I enjoyed following her journey through the novel. The other characters were also well drawn and memorable, and there was plenty of action to keep me turning the pages. The book has a feminist slant but doesn't belabour the point and also touches on some other interesting themes. I am definitely keen to read on to the next book in the series to find out what will happen next. Recommend for fans of YA fantasy, Strike the Zither gets 4.5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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