Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Red Palace
Author: June Hur
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Korean MC and characters
Recommended For…: young adult readers, own voice, historical fiction, murder mystery, thriller
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Genre: YA Historical Fiction Mystery
Recommended Age: 15+ (death, murder, violence, gore, torture, parental abandonment)
Explanation of CWs: The book is a murder mystery novel and shows violence, death, murder, and gore. There is some torture mentioned in the book and a scene of parental abandonment shown and some mentioned here and there.
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Synopsis: Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.
But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.
In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.
Review: This was another out of the park read by June Hur! I absolutely love her work and this one is probably my favorite. I loved the story and I love how June weaves in the mystery and bases it on historical people and places. The book was well plotted and had me guessing until the end. The characters are well developed as is the world building. I also loved how evenly paced the book is.
The only issue I really had with the book is that I felt some of the details were quickly skimmed in the book and I wish that we spent more time figuring out the whodunit.
Verdict: It was great! Highly recommend!