Synopsis: The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.
To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.
Publication Date: Sept 21st (US), Oct 7th (UK)
Genres: YA Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: murder, abuse, torture, alcohol addiction, suicide ideation, mentions and threat of rape.
A story which will intrigue you
The story is fast paced and will keep you interested right from page one, it goes on with its twists and turns and everything in between and will leave you wanting more. This books is not just about vengeance as it also talks of destiny, misogyny, oppression and politics and the role all of this play in the lives of our characters. The author does an amazing job in incorporating parts of Chinese history in the story too and it’s just so good to read and thoroughly enjoyable. This book takes a lot of themes and puts them all together so well in a way which will surprise you and make you fall in love with it.
Characters you can’t help but root for
This book at its core is about war, a war with oneself and war with the system which is designed to make you fail. Our protagonists make it a point to fight both of these head on and without backing off. Through this, we also come to know how different our characters are and the way they come together and become part of something bigger. It progresses naturally and one particular thing I love about this book is how everything- right from plot to character actions just make sense, it’s written and implemented so well. The book also never fails to focus on the real villain which is misogyny and greed and how it actively plays a role right from the lowest level to the highest powers.
The world building and writing
Overall, Iron Widow is is a fast-paced and immersive story which will keep you hooked with an unhinged protagonist you will root for, a healthy polyamorous relationship and an ending which will leave you absolutely speechless. If you’re looking for an intense fantasy read, Iron Widow would be perfect. This book is also perfect for fans of The Poppy War and Ember in the Ashes series!
Thank you the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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