OCTOBER 10, 2017 | Philomel Books
2018: Roca Editorial, Spain || AST, Russia


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The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend!
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.

Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins — sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Stealing Snow and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.



A Fall 2017 Junior Library Guild Selection


New York Public Library’s 2017 Best Books For Teens


Booklist, starred review: “…Dao’s debut novel is a masterful reimagining of the early life of Snow White’s Evil Queen.”


Publishers Weekly, starred review: “[Xifeng’s] tug-of-war with the forces driving her down a dark path makes for tantalizing reading.”


Kirkus Reviews: “Readers will appreciate the sweeping fantasy saga lifted from East Asian dynasties and endearing characters that are beautifully rendered.”

School Library Journal: “Rich in detail and full of gore and blood, this dark novel will satisfy ‘Game of Thrones’ fans… the reimagining of the Evil Queen story will entice fans of antiheroine journeys.”

RT Book Reviews: “This is a book filled with turmoil and drama that will leave you wanting more… With wonderfully descriptive writing and prose worthy of a movie, this is one book that you’ll want to check out.”

Bulletin For the Center For Children’s Books: “Readers will be drawn into the lush, fully realized world of Feng Lu and be intrigued by the sinister forces that awaken within and around Xifeng as she makes what she sees as necessary sacrifices on the path to her rise. This opening volume of a new series efficiently wraps up its major storyline, while leaving tantalizing hints to pick up in subsequent installments.”

“A richly developed fantasy world coupled with an ambitious anti-heroine of complex agency, this story shines and surprises at every turn. Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch.”
– Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites


“A stunning reimagining of the Evil Queen. Filled with treacherous courtesans, dark magic, terrible choices, and bloody hearts, Julie Dao’s exquisite take on this classic villain rises far above the average retelling.”
– Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval


“Dark, lush, and intense, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns draws you into a world filled with mystery and intrigue, led by a heroine determined to grasp her destiny. A stunning debut!”
– Cindy Pon, award-winning author of WANT and Serpentine


“An enchanting debut with a powerful and ambitious lead. Vivid and seductive, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is one of the best debuts of the year.”
– Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost


“Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is dark and seductive; beware, this tale will draw you deeper into the forest than you want to go. Disturbingly good.”
– Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon


“Magnetic, seductive, and alluring, Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is a lush, captivating read about desire and the lengths to which we will go to find our true destiny.”
– S. Jae-Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong


“Beautiful, lush, and stunningly intricate, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is this year’s must-read fantasy!”
– Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi


“FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS is a stunning debut, a sort of inside-out fairy tale where beauty is a weapon, ambition is armor, and the empire is the battlefield. Xifeng doesn’t ask for what she wants–she takes it. This book is dangerous; you should read it.”
– Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling co-author of My Lady Jane


“Searing and intense, Dao’s debut is an outstanding character exploration of one of fairytales’ most enduring and enigmatic characters: the Evil Queen. Equal parts lush and devastating, this is a tale that will grab you by the throat.”
– Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen


“Julie C. Dao’s FOTL is delicious, addicting, and breathtaking; a book you fall into from the first page to the last. Her rich world is thick with wonder, intrigue, and delightful darkness. Readers will root for Xifeng no matter the choices she must make; we want her to win.”
– Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles and the Tiny Pretty Things series



* YA Novels From First-Time Authors You Need To Read (Bustle)
* 15 of Our Most Anticipated Debut Novels (Barnes & Noble)
* 7 Asian-Inspired Science Fiction and Fantasy YAs You Need (Barnes & Noble)
* 13 Obsession-Worthy Young Adult Fantasy Books Hitting Shelves (Bustle)
* 6 New Retellings for Fairy-Tale Fans (Barnes and Noble)
* 100 Must-Read Inclusive YA SFF Books (Book Riot)
* Best YA Books That Need To Be On Your Radar (Children’s Book Review)
* 5 Anticipated YA Fantasy & Sci-fi Books for Fall 2017 (Pop Culturalist)
* Reviews of the Week (American Library Association Booklist)
* 17 Must-Read YA Books of Fall 2017 (Read Brightly)
* 18 Fall 2017 YA books We Can’t Wait To Read (Hypable)
* 10 Fall Books To Look Forward To (Kirkus)
* Fall 2017’s Best YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads (Bookish)
* 11 New YA Books We’re Putting on Our Fall Reading List (PureWow)
* All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Keep on Your Radar This Fall (iO9)
* New Young Adult Fiction: Fairytales, Dystopias, and Life Lessons (
* 22 YA Novels You’ll Want To Read From Cover To Cover This Fall (Buzzfeed)
* The 18 Most Anticipated YA Books To Read In October (Epic Reads)
* 27 of Our Most Anticipated October YA Books (Barnes and Noble)
* The 15 Best New YA Books Coming In October 2017 (Bustle)
* The Best Children’s and YA Books of October 2017 (Read Brightly)
* Diverse SFF Book Releases in October 2017 (
* 25 books we can’t wait to read in October (Hello Giggles)
* 10 Most Anticipated Young Adult Books of October 2017 (PopCrush)
* Bookshelf Must-Have: FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS (Read Brightly)
* 10 of the Best New Young Adult Books in October 2017 (Paste Magazine)
* 20 Teen Books for Adults Coming This Fall (BookBub Blog)
* Julie C. Dao: Women I Write Should Never, Ever Be Underestimated (NetGalley)
* Julie C. Dao enthralls readers with this villain origin story (Hypable)
* Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns Is The Evil Queen Fairytale Retelling You Need (Bustle)
* Julie C. Dao Shares 7 Villains Worthy of Their Own Origin Stories (Barnes and Noble)
* Brutal Revenge, Romantic Mysteries, and Big-Name Returns (Barnes and Noble)
* Top 10 First Novels For Youth: 2017 (American Library Association Booklist)






|| Read it for FREE on Wattpad HERE. ||
View some gorgeous PPP fanart here!


A fun, magical fairy tale perfect for fans of THE PRINCESS DIARIES or ELLA ENCHANTED!
Noelle Simpkins is sick of working for her parents.

Sure, her dad runs a booming pumpkin business and her mom’s the greatest shoemaker in the land. But pumps and pumpkins get OLD after a while, and at 14, she’s ready to see more of the world.

When she hears about a fairy godmother internship in the city, she jumps on it. The goal? Make sure royal clients get happily-ever-afters — all while battling goblins, curing curses, and figuring out how to use a magic wand. Not to mention shutting down a rival godmother and avoiding Kit, a distractingly cute pie seller who keeps turning up.

But as exciting as the new gig is, Noelle begins to realize… she kind of misses making shoes and growing pumpkins.

Has she gotten closer to her own happily-ever-after, or farther away?

And when the (glass) shoe’s on the other foot, can she stay true to her own heart?



A Wattpad Featured Story

Top 50 on the Wattpad Teen Fiction Hot List

“I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your books!!! Thank you SO much for being such an INCREDIBLE author. Your books have inspired mine and you are just such a true inspiration. Your work leaves me smiling and I remember when I finished PPP…I was dreadfully sad, but so intrigued I just HAD to finish!”

“PPP is such a cute book! It’s creative and fun to read. It draws you in and keeps you interested. I hope you put up more books in the future. If this book isn’t published already, would you please make a post on here when it is? That way I can find it and buy it. Thank you for the good read.”

“I absolutely LOVED the Pumpkin Patch Princess! This is literally (in my opinion) one of the best books on Wattpad, it was well thought out, had characters that were relatable, and I loved every minute reading it. Thank you for bring me such joy when I read PPP.”

“Hey I wanted to write this review after I finished the book last night, but it was 4AM so yeah, I decided it was better to sleep. Anyways I liked your story very much. It was one of those stories where you can guess what is going to happen next but you still keep reading because it’s also the kind of story that gives you hope. Fairy tales always have a way of making me feel good about myself. I hope you write the sequel soon as I am very eager to follow Noelle’s story. Thank you for the amazing book :)”

“JUST FINISHED PUMPKIN PATCH PRINCESS!!! It was super lovely and fluff inducing, and I enjoyed this read so, so, much! I’ve always loved fairytales and Noelle’s story is super funny, cute, and a magical read. Thank you for the wonderful story!!!! I hope the stars will align one day and you will be able to publish it because it really was a very sweet read!”

“This story was sooo awesome. Like pure enchanting. I loved every character. I really love this story, took me back to my childhood fantasies. I really wish it gets published, I promise I would be the first to buy it. And then its just a small step away from being made into a movie. Seriously, I can’t wait!”

“I’m gonna read this over and over and over and over… my new favourite book! I absolutely LOVE it! Thanks so much for writing it! I love how everything works out and fits into place, with the pumpkin carriage and the shoes and everything! I need to sleep now though. Haha! I just couldn’t stop reading!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed this magical and enchanting fairy tale. It was filled with fun, sparkle, innocent kisses and unforgettable characters. Everyone from Noelle (I adore that beautiful name), to strawberry-yoghurt- obsessed Muffet, cheeky Kit, and Alfonso the naked prince (Haha!) – they’ve all found a place in my heart. Thank you so much for sharing Pumpkin Patch Princess with us. If this was your attempt as a beginner, I can only imagine how amazing your new stories must be. I will definitely be following your journey, and I can’t wait to buy one of your books one day. Well done, Julie, and keep up the good work!”

“Thank you for writing this, I read this all in one go because I couldn’t stop laughing my ass off at your story. You write beautifully and you incorporated all the fairytales in a very natural and original way. You are an inspiration to me thnx!!”


Copyright © 2017, Julie C. Dao, All Rights Reserved

Julie C. Dao