a city's heart against an empire | foul heart huntsman by chloe gong

by - 9:30 AM

The stunning conclusion to the Foul Lady Fortune duology, Foul Heart Huntsman throws you right back into the center of mounting tensions between a potential civil war and an outright foreign invasion. Separated from Orion and with her identity exposed, Rosalind embarks on a press tour to boost morale as she tries to find a way to save her husband. 

 isbn: 978-1665905619 | pages: 560
       publication date: September 26, 2023 | source: physical / tour
      genre: young adult, asian, fantasy, historical, romance
     rating: 8.7/10

     A M A Z O N    |    G O O D R E A D S    
       B O O K S H O P *    |    B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S
links with an (*) are affiliate where, when used to purchase gives me a small commission to support my blog at no extra cost to you!

I received a physical and digital arc from the publisher for the purposes of this book tour -  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts are my own honest opinion.

Excuse me if this review is slightly more unhinged than usual because Foul Heart Huntsman did everything I wanted it to do. From the heart-pounding stakes to all the adorable mushy moments, my heart was screaming in both pain and exhilaration. Reading this really solidified my understanding that Chloe Gong writes characters that truly stick with you, in my case it just took me a couple books to realize how much I adore the Shanghai crew - new additions and all.

Rosalind finds herself navigating increasing political tensions as China is torn between the Nationalist and Communist parties and she'll need every scheme up her shoulder if she wants to rescue Orion from his mother and her experiments. I've come to a conclusion that Chloe Gong loves making us cry because her lovers are always separated at the end of the first book so I was very excited when we got plenty of Orion and Rosalind in this sequel. 

Finishing this finale felt like a piece of my heart had finally clicked into place completing the puzzle but now there's also an aching nostalgic sensation left behind knowing that the characters have completed their story. The development each character underwent tested their relationships with each other as well as their loyalty to their country and I cannot tell you how many lines I highlighted where my only thought was incoherent screaming. We get a perfect balance of screen time between characters introduced in FLF while also being reunited with beloved characters from the Secret Shanghai universe and it all culminates into one happy found family. 

In terms of writing and pacing, you can really tell that Chloe Gong went into this book ready to put readers through the wringer. I was holding my breath as individual plot lines diverged and then reunited to address the larger points of conflict. While some elements wrapped up with simple timely convenience, others were handled with more delicacy to reveal the hearts of each character. 

In its core, Foul Heart Huntsman once again addresses the question of how much is loyalty worth especially through the lens of one's country, family, and love. I will sorely miss these characters because I have grown to absolutely adore them and cannot wait to jump back into their stories again with a future reread.

I received a physical and digital arc from the publisher for the purposes of this book tour -  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts are my own honest opinion.

huge thanks to Colored Pages Book Tours, Chloe Gong, and Simon Teen for the opportunity to participate in this book tour! be sure to check out all the other stops by clicking the banner above!

all images from pexels

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