First Lines Friday #17

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?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • 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!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

Happy Friday! I can’t tell you how excited I am that it’s finally the end of the week. It’s been super busy at work and ya girl is T I R E D. But now I can look forward to two days to just relax and garden and read. Ugh, it sounds fantastic.

But! That’s neither here nor there. Right now, it’s time for First Lines Friday! Today, I’m featuring a book that I’d been curious about for awhile and was happy to snag a copy from my library recently. I’ve been seeing it all over the bookish internet and my curiosity has just grown! I’m currently in the middle of it and it’s definitely living up to the hype. So now it’s time to share the first few lines and a few hints and see if I can get you hooked, as well.


The Line(s):

“Something wants to eat you,” called Almost Brilliant from her perch in a nearby tree, “and I shall not be sorry if it does.”
Chiming bells. Chih rolled to their feet, glancing around the perimeter and squinting at the jangling string of bells that surrounded the small campsite. For a moment, they were back at the abbey in Singing Hills, late for another round of prayers, chores, and lessons, but Singing Hills did not smell of ghosts and damp pine boughs. Singing Hills did not make the hairs on Chih’s arms rise up in alarm or their heart lurch with panic.”


The Hints:

This is a fantasy novella that was released last year.

It’s the first book in a series of fantasy novellas.

It’s set in an empire reminiscent of imperial China.


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.

Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.”


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

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