Romantic fantasy

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The Song of the Crimson Flower is based on folklore set in the world of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, one of my favorite fantasy novels.

This story follows Bao and Lan as they seek out a witch who has placed a curse on Bao, which Lan becomes drawn into. Although this is a story about love, the love is not limited to romantic love. Also, there is political intrigue and magic woven into the tale.

Although it was nice to be back in the world of FOTL, I think that the writing/voice/characters felt too similar to FOTL for me to experience the joy of diving into a new story that I look forward to most with YA fantasies that I read and enjoy.

But despite this, this is a lush fantasy with a setting that is not the usual/common in YA fantasy and I do appreciate that! It was well-written, which is something you can always expect from Julie Dao, and I will probably read anything she writes!