ARC BOOK REVIEW: Strike the Zither by Joan He

Hi friends! I’m so so excited to be sharing my review for Strike the Zither by Joan He! I adored EVERY bit of this book with my entire being.

A big thank you to Books Forward and @joanhewrites for sending me an eARC of this beautiful book! Strike the Zither is an epic Chinese historical fantasy inspired by the Three Kingdoms and it comes out on October 25th!! 😍😍

Author: Joan He
Blurb: 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.

An epic YA fantasy about found family, rivals, and identity, from New York Times and Indie bestselling author Joan He, inspired by Three Kingdoms, one of the Four Classics of Chinese Literature.

My thoughts:
I can’t believe this book exists like I can’t imagine that such a perfect book exists?! I don’t even know where to start because the plot, characters, setting, they were all EXCELLENT. I’m just in awe of this beautiful story and I NEED MORE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The WORLD BUILDING!! I was absolutely entranced into the world that’s so vibrant and full of history 😍 I was SO IMMERSED with the descriptions and my mind still can’t wrap around how beautiful the writing was.

The strategy elements in this book was INSANELY AMAZING. My mind can’t event comprehend how a strategist mind works so I was stunned at every decision they made. It was like watching chess but battlefield and war and a hundred times more brilliant. I realized that war strategy is something I actually LOVE reading about and this book was full of it! Seeing how the main character think three steps ahead and to find out that she has thought 10 more steps ahead was so mindblowing. I loved it so so much!

AND! There was the zither as well, which was amazing! I grew up watching Chinese programs of people playing the zither and to see it incorporated into a fantasy was so awesome! It played a huge emotional part of the book and I was blown away by how wonderfully written it was.

There were so many elements in the story but it didn’t feel messy because all of them worked together to create this beautiful story and the author’s writing style is so mesmerizing and just stunning.

The characters were complex on so many different layers and I was intrigued by ALL of them which kind of hard for an author to make a reader be interested in all these characters but their motives and personalities just grabbed on to me and held on till the last page. THE MAIN CHARACTER ZEPHYR HAS MY HEART and I LOVE HER SO MUCH!

Overall, I am so so obsessed with this book and I’m definitely going to be eagerly anticipating the sequel.

My Rating: 5/5 🌟

Would I recommend this book? YESSS do yourself a favor and check out this incredible book 😍😍

I hope all of you have a magical day! ✨

Until the next blog post,
– The Joyful Reader❤️


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