The Girl with No Reflection

English language

Published Aug. 6, 2024 by Delacorte Press.

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A young woman chosen as the crown prince’s bride must travel to the royal palace to meet her new husband—but her world is shaken when she discovers the dark truth the royal family has been hiding for centuries—in this lush fantasy debut perfect for fans of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night and Violet Made of Thorns.

Princess Ying Yue believed in love...once upon a time.

Yet when she’s chosen to wed the crown prince, Ying’s dreams of a fairy tale marriage quickly fall apart. Her husband-to-be is cold and indifferent, confining Ying to her room for reasons he won’t explain. Worse still are the rumors that swirl around the imperial palace: whispers of seven other royal brides who, after their own weddings, mysteriously disappeared.

Left alone with only her own reflection for company, Ying begins to see things. Strange things. Movements in the corners of her mirror. Colorful lights …

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Well-paced with some cool world-building and exciting twists, but has a bit of genre whiplash part way through.

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This feels like two books stitched into one. The front half of the book has all of the vibes of a gothic romance: a young woman moves into an ancient opulent house, finds her husband-to-be cold and standoffish, and soon sees strange things out of the corner of her eye that everyone else insists aren't real. The deeper she digs, the more sinister things become, until her reality is shattered. And then suddenly we're in the second half of the book: an epic, sweeping, Chinese fable filled with mythical creatures, dragon-riding, war, alchemy, court drama, and a big prophecy. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. I enjoyed both parts on their own. The portion where Ying first visits the mirror world is especially well-written, with a creeping unease and some really unique world building that I loved. There are some big fight pieces and twists in the …