Let me start this post by thanking Midnight Book Blog for writing such an amazing book review for Iron Widow. She writes such enticing book reviews I can’t help myself from adding more and more books to my never ending TBR list. Not that I need any excuse to do that, anyway.

She introduced me to the book Iron Widow, and it instantly became one of my all-time favourites. I loved the book, as would be clear from all the raving I am about to do in this post. But I really loved the review as well. I picked up this book only because of the book review. I didn’t even know anything about this book or the author before reading this book review. Sometimes I feel that reading book reviews is like having a conversation with someone about books and that’s my favourite kind of conversation.

Let’s talk about the book

Iron Widow is the story is about a girl Wu Zetian (love the name btw) who is going to become a concubine pilot helping a general in the war. Usually the females do not survive. So, it is like a death sentence for Zetian. But she doesn’t plan to die that easily. Rather, she is planning to kill the general as he killed Zetian’s elder sister. And this all happens in like first few chapters of the book.

Then Zetian kills the general, and naturally, she expects to be killed in retaliation. Instead, she is trained and paired with another male pilot. And has to continue fighting a war she doesn’t even understand.

The story is about what happens to Zetian and how she survives.

Book Cover of Iron Widow from Goodreads

What I Liked About The Book

Let’s go point by point

  • The description about foot binding – I read about foot binding custom long ago in passing by. But when I was reading this book and learning about this horrific custom through the first person narrative, it hit harder. It was like I was actually feeling the pain Zetian was feeling when her bones in her feet were broken over and over and then bound tightly. I could feel the sharp pain she felt with every step. It made me realize how little we know about the world.
  • I loved loved loved the love triangle showed in this book – I love how the love story is depicted between three characters and how beautifully it is shown developing
  • The twist in the end – I was kind of expecting something like that, but still I was still surprised when we got to the actual twist. I mean the author executed beautifully the foreshadowing and yet the surprise was a surprise.

What I Didn’t Like About It

The fact that this book ended and now I don’t know how long I will have to wait for the next book. I really hated getting out of the story world.

Who Would Like It?

Anyone who likes fantasy should read this book. The world building is one of the finest ones I came across. And the book is not too long either.

About the Author

Iron Widow is debut novel of Xiran Jay Zhao. After I finished reading this book, I started reading about her mostly just to find out when the next book is coming. Instead, I came across her YouTube channel where she talks about Chinese culture. I loved her style and practically binged watched several of her videos. Check out her video below where she talks about her writing journey.