As a fan of Chloe Gong since These Violent Delights you know I had to tune in for this universe finale. Foul Heart Huntsman is the finale to one of my favorite fantasy series worlds and is 100% worth the wait! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Winter is drawing thick in 1932 Shanghai, as is the ever-nearing threat of a Japanese invasion.
Rosalind Lang has suffered the worst possible fate for a national spy: she’s been exposed. With the media storm camped outside her apartment for the infamous Lady Fortune, she’s barely left her bedroom in weeks, plotting her next course of action after Orion was taken and his memories of Rosalind wiped. Though their marriage might have been a sham, his absence hurts her more than any physical wound. She won’t rest until she gets him back.
But with her identity in the open, the task is near impossible. The only way to leave the city and rescue Orion is under the guise of a national tour. It’s easy to convince her superiors that the countryside needs unity more than ever, and who better than an immortal girl to stir pride and strength into the people?
When the tour goes wrong, however, everything Rosalind once knew is thrown up in the air. Taking refuge outside Shanghai, old ghosts come into the open and adversaries turn to allies. To save Orion, they must find a cure to his mother’s traitorous invention and take this dangerous chemical weapon away from impending foreign invasion—but the clock is ticking, and if Rosalind fails, it’s not only Orion she loses, but her nation itself.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Foul Heart Huntsman continues where our favorites left off in Foul Lady Fortune reeling from being exposed and losing the ones we love. This entire duology has been a testament to changing loyalties and siblings. To the decisions we will make in the wake of political shaking, of our world being thrown in upheaval, and enemies on all sides. In Chloe Gong’s latest duology, our siblings are forced to decide where their priorities lie: in family or in party. And it’s never simple as our changing code names and intentions – along with a heavy dose of subterfuge – shift.
Predictably so, Foul Heart Huntsman thrives off the juxtaposition of a lack of knowledge versus how we protect the ones we love. There’s a steady thrum of action, shoot outs, and sneaking off into the night. Secrets about our intentions, identities, and loyalties. It’s rooted in the contests of empires, history soaked into the skin, and imperialism in the streets. Foul Heart Huntsman is an epic endeavor where Gong allows us to see the pieces of stories, and lies, from everyone’s perspective – working at cross purposes and in cross hairs.
But I think what kept me coming back every night to snuggle into this spy laden story are the characters. The tension between love and loyalty, between stolen nights, and the stake of war and family. The siblings are really going through it here! Gong delivers a story where identities as siblings, spies, and friends are all tested. How we begin to chose to break away – or stay – with our family. With some particular swoony lines, Foul Heart Huntsman is a fitting series ender which balances action and character feels.
About the Author
Chloe Gong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Secret Shanghai novels, as well as the Flesh and False Gods trilogy. Her books have been published in over twenty countries and have been featured in The New York Times, People, Forbes, and more. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she double-majored in English and international relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Chloe is now located in New York City, pretending to be a real adult.
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