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Julie C. Dao Books In Order

Publication Order of Rise of the Empress Books

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kingdom of The Blazing Phoenix (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Julie is an American of Vietnamese descent who was born in New York. She attempted medicinal studies in college but changed her mind midway. Julie worked in a science research news center during the day and wrote books on some nights. After writing drafts for a while, Julie followed her passion and engaged with publishers to release her scripts. Julie’s first book, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was accepted and published a while ago. Julie currently resides in New England.

Julie C. Dao Best Books

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns #1 Rise of the Empress

Xifeng is a gorgeous young woman. She’s eighteen-years-old and has a brilliant future ahead and destined as the Empress of Feng Lu. However, she must align with the darkness in her soul. Xifeng grew up in a remote village, raised by an evil peasant aunt who was the community witch known as Guma. The cruel witch read torrent cards and implored that Xifeng must accept her witchcraft destiny. Growing up as a naïve village girl, in a remote countryside, Xifeng longs to accomplish the fortune that belongs to her, passed on by her evil aunt Guma, the witch. However, there is a price to pay to attain the lucky throne of charm and the world of darkness.

Xifeng’s desire to achieve high prominence has a dangerous condition attached to it. She must snub the love of her life, a young man who adores her, and pursue the black magic that beckons her and runs in her blood. We are talking about sorcery, drawn into pulling out hearts from dead people and eating them gluttonously. The powerful supernatural being that dwells on earth and beckons Xifeng to her destiny will not rest until his plans have happened. Wow! Debauchery, witchcraft, maiming, and satanic rituals all summed up in one word. Witch. That was traumatizing! It’s hard to fathom that beauty as described in the protagonist, means an evil witch. East Asian magic is wicked. Julie details every ritual as if she is a natural witch (god forbid); it makes the story come alive with her natural flair for words. She is amazing. Xifeng comes off as an astonishingly intricate and flawed character. She has undergone a remarkable transformation from a young naïve village girl to an incredibly powerful witch. She has learned how to use voodoo and manipulate others with her beauty and charming aura.

Some parts of the narrative make Xifeng a nasty bitch you would not want to mess with. As a child, Xifeng grew up with her blood aunt who was very cruel; it made the little girl cringe with fear. As most abused children behave, Xifeng was no different; she carried the fear and the unhealthy relationship with her into adulthood. This part of the protagonist’s story forms the central part of the whole narrative. When Xifeng finally felt safe in the care of her boyfriend, she wondered how the lad managed to control her, just as her aunt did. As she grew stronger with each passing day, Xifeng eventually rose to become an Empress.

This book was entertaining and unique, I do not know how brutality fits into the equation of greatness with this novel, but you have to appreciate the writer’s style of writing, plot, and sequence of the story. It’s very consequential and tightly written. Inspired by East Asian culture, the author did a thorough research on ancient myths and revealed intricate details about sorcery and the dark world. The entire narrative will make you hang on the edges of your seat as you read ghastly descriptions of human mutilations and so many other unmentionables.

Some of the violent scenes packed awful spooky details, which had me wondering whether the author enjoyed writing the graphic narrative or she did write it to tell the world what goes down in the underworld. The flare was top notch; you have to give Julie that credit. She wrote with such sincerity and understood Xifeng’s desires. In another world, the witches would be deemed as social misfits and locked away as people with a mental health condition. If you thought that criminal, minds scared your wits and messed with your head, that was just a warm-up program. This book may cause you a few sleepless nights. The romance between Xifeng and her lover was lukewarm; it is hard to describe it. So once you read the book, you be the judge, but as far as witchcraft goes, some decisions had to be made regarding Xifeng as she embraced her future.

There is a strong connection between Rising of the Empress and the Snow-White tale. This book somehow seemed like a prelude to Snow White, not to confuse it with the latter’s narrative, no. It may bring memories of Snow White, but do not go searching for this book expecting to find that’ story. It is much more than that. If you enjoy a mix of everything in one book, and then expect to be entertained. Keep up with the theme and flow of politics, plenty of murder, satanic rituals, demons and ancient kingdoms.

It is a fantastic read with plenty of magic to keep you amused. For the overly religious folks, the book might spark a lot of indifference into your beliefs, but believe it or not, the dark world exists. Julie packs up a horrific tale of survival of dynasties in the underworld. Maybe it truly happened in Asia, and some parts of North America if you watched the movie; the Apocalypto you’ll understand that these things indeed took place and that it’s not a fallacy. It is a great read, informative and entertaining.

Pumpkin Patch Princess

Some people begin their adult world on the wrong foot. Noelle Simpkins loathes every waking minute of having to work for her folks. The businesses run separately by her mom, a renowned shoemaker, and her dad the successful pumpkin seller. Noelle, who is only fourteen, is sick of selling pumpkins and banging on handmade pumps all day. When an opportunity pops up in the city, to audition for the internship of a fairy godmother, Noelle jumps at the chance to get away from her boring life. The endgame to this unique opportunity is to serve royal families, make them happy through healing curses, the use of magic potions and the magic wand.

Noelle must battle an evil godmother and evade Kit, the lovely pie seller who shows up mysteriously whenever she feels like it. After a while, Noelle begins to feel nostalgic and misses her old life of making shoes and tending to pumpkins on the farm. Will she stay on and fulfill the godmother’s desires? However, she is at crossroads with her family business and chasing evil gods in the city.

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Book Series In Order » Authors » Julie C. Dao