My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was really close to being a 5-star read for most of the book. I loved the slow-burn, tender, intellectual romance, adored the ancient Chinese setting, and thought the trans* issues were handled with grace and subtlety. Sadly the story fell apart a little for me at the end. Maybe I just like my romances to end neatly with a little bow on top, but I was hoping that Wen Yu and Liu Yi would find a way to be married, or if that was socially impossible, at least have a comfortable life at the palace together. I also would have liked some resolution to the fairytale aspect of the story that was so nicely set up at the beginning.
Other than that, there were a few stray typos that slipped through editing, especially later in the book, which made me read a couple of sentences twice to discern their meaning. Regardless, this didn’t detract from a very enjoyable read which I recommend to everyone.