Book Reviews

Review: A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee

I’ve been a longtime fan of Traci Chee since The Reader. So when I saw that Traci had another YA fantasy out, I knew I had to add this to my TBR. A Thousand Steps into Night is a touching fantasy story about power and choice. It’s everything I wanted and more! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again.

But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

One of the immediate things I loved about A Thousand Steps into Night is that Miuko is loud. While this may seem like a small thing, from one loud girl to another, I’m with you! At the same time, Chee uses Miuko’s loudness as a simple and effective way to symbolize the ways Miuko doesn’t fit into the mold. I feel like loudness is not traditionally seen as a ‘feminine’ quality, and so with this one characteristic, I loved how Miuko was immediately not going to fit in – unless she made herself. This element is merely developed throughout the story.

In the ways that power and femininity normally have rigid boxes. How power for girls and women have strings attached to be ‘accepted’ by society. So Miko’s story in A Thousand Steps into Night is about her navigating her changing relationship with power and acceptability. From envying the power that men and boys have – just for their gender – versus what a dangerous power could do to her life. A Thousand Steps into Night is a story that kept me reading from start to finish. There’s a steady current of action and some twists that I need to chat about. But can’t because spoilers.


But overall, Miuko’s character won me over. She’s resilient even as she is trying to figure out the bounds of her own cage. I’m always a fan of a character who is exploring and trying to defy patriarchy, but Miuko is special. Chee uses her demon identity to probe the connections of power and capability. Of wondering just because one can does that mean one should? When we finally get a taste of what we want, who will we become?

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Chee illustrates a story that is, in many ways, about monstrosity. To say I’m a fan of Chee’s latest is an understatement. Find A Thousand Steps into Night on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite YA fantasy heroine who takes down the patriarchy?

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