First Lines Friday!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Hello, hello! I hope you’ve all had a brilliant week. I’m looking forward to this weekend because I’m doing a kind of scavenger picnic with some friends where you follow clues that take you to local shops and pick up your food along the way. I’m hoping the weather will be nice and that we don’t end up having to wear our waterproofs. The book I’ve picked for this week is an upcoming YA fantasy, set during an alternate Tang Dynasty China. I read a book by this author in 2021 and enjoyed it, so I have high hopes for this one.

“I remember the days of darkness, even if no one else does.”

Well, I’m definitely intrigued! Ready to find out what it is?

Zilan dreams of becoming a royal alchemist, of providing for her family by making alchemical gold and gems for the wealthy to eat in order to stay young forever. But for now, she’s trapped in her impoverished village in southern China, practicing an illegal form of alchemy to keep food on the table—resurrecting the dead, for a price.

When Zilan finally has the chance to complete her imperial exams, she ventures to the capital to compete against the best alchemists in the country in tasks she’ll be lucky to survive, let alone pass. On top of that, her reputation for raising the dead has followed her to the capital, and the Crown Prince himself seeks out her help, suspecting a coming assassination attempt.

The more Zilan succeeds in her alchemy, the more she gets caught in the dangerous political games of the royal family. There are monsters lurking within the palace walls, and it’s only a matter of time before they—and secrets of Zilan’s past—catch up with her.


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11 replies »

  1. I didn’t realize baker had gotten outside of the reaper duology yet 🤷‍♀️ I should probably look the sequel up and then this one 😅

    Liked by 1 person

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