I adored this book. The author’s writing style is easy and you fall in love with the characters fast. Pahua is an amazing protagonist and I can’t wait to see what the rest of her adventures look like.
The story is steeped in Hmong history and mythology. Pahua is an older sister and her little brother Matt is her best friend, second only to the cat spirit that only she can see, Miv.
Pahua is an outcast though not by her own making. She’s the only Hmong girl in her school and the other kids let her know that she doesn’t fit it. She’s judged for her food and everything else that makes her stick out.
So how does she deal with it? She pretends. To be a dragon slayer or to be hunting a dangerous monster or any other number of things that help her feel brave enough to face that trials she faces.
Then Matt gets sick and we meet Zhong. Two Hmong girls who must work together to save Pahua’s little brother.
I don’t want to give anything away. This book was great. I saw so much of my younger self is Pahua and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a Hmong girl lead in any of the traditionally published books I’ve read. Which is a problem that needs to be rectified.
The only big name work of fiction I’ve seen Hmong people is what Gran Torino and that movie is full of serious issues.
This book will give all kinds of Hmong children the ability to see that they can be the hero the same as everyone else.
It was a brilliant read. There’s a glossary in the back full of pronunciations and information about some of the things that the characters encounter throughout the story. I love glossaries in fantasy books, so that’s always going to be a win.
This book was incredible and a fast read because I couldn’t put it down.
Five (5) stars.
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.