So I almost never write reviews. But this book needs it. I am not normally into a super feminist story line. Usually they are not actually feminist, but are instead man hating. This book balances that rage that most, if not all women feel with respecting and being respected by those people who deserve it. It is a deep, often dark journey into the depths of where that rage comes from, that I genuinely do not know if it could have been portrayed by a better culture to bring meaning the the phrase "beauty is pain". This is a journey of shedding the expectations that have been ground into you by society, loving those who have earned your respect, and making the world tremble with who you have become. With it I learned a HUGE amount about Chinese culture that really emphasizes the gem this book is. The author paces her descriptions so you are rarely underwhelmed, or overwhelmed with details. Occasionally, things are forced the speed up and skip important parts, likely due to it being technically being a young adult novel, and keeping the page numbers in check. I have read ...a lot of books. Literally hundreds. And this is easily the best I have read in a very long time. I put the writing on par with early Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffery, Terry Brooks, and others of similar caliber. The authors who aren't afraid the write about the dark side of humanity, the realities that happen right in front of our noses. I will be watching this author, and I look forward to reading what she has to bring for years to come.