A Thousand Steps Into Night: A Lush and Gripping Fantasy

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. 

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Note: I was sent an e-arc of this book in exchange for a review. All my opinions are honest and unbiased.

A Thousand Steps Into Night: A Lush and Gripping Fantasy

You know you’re obsessed with a book when it’s all you can think about for days at end. I kid you not, I was literally dreaming about A Thousand Steps Into Night, that’s how captivating this book was! This was my first book by Traci Chee and it was honestly the best experience I could have asked for.

Our protagonist Miuko is someone I instantly connected to. She’s clumsy and loud, uncertain of her purpose in life. When she gets turned into a demon her world is turned upside down. Her only family fears her, everyone hates her and she doesn’t want this power of a death demon. Or does she? I love how we see Miuko conflicted between going back to her agreeable old self in a society where women have no power versus having infinite power to draw on but becoming a souless demon.

I think the book brilliantly executes themes of misogyny in a patriarchal society where women are suppressed and the only women with power (mostly demons) are feared and shunned. Miuko instantly stands out and is demeaned by the villagers because she is loud and clumsy, two traits that an ‘ideal’ woman does not have. From the moment she turns into a demon, Miuko sees how life could be if she were treated equal to men and be allowed to exercise her will and power. It’s very interesting to read how Miuko struggles to not love the power because society sees women in power as synonymous to evil in a way.

Also, let me make it clear that I STAN GEIKI. He’s the most adorable sidekick you could ever want. Mischievous, loyal, lover of all things shiny; Geiki is just a joy to read about and I loved the banter between him and Miuko. The rest of the cast was also quite fleshed out and every creature or person we encounter was honestly a pleasure to read about.

But I think the main element that drew me in was the enchanting worldbuilding. Traci Chee has created a wonderful world brimming with exciting things to discover. Inspired by Japanese mythology, we meet all sorts of spirits, demons and gods in this lush world of magic. It’s so very easy to slip into the world of Awara and find yourself immersed in everything. There are some very handy footnotes as well as notes for pronunciation so it’ really easy for the reader to just dive into this world. I loved reading about folklores and the kinds of demons and creatures, their powers and hierarchy. It was absolutely fascinating!

All in all this was an absolute joy to read. This was the kind of book where I couldn’t stop reading but at the same time found myself dreading how close I was to finishing it. I would highly recommend that you all check it out, especially if you adore fantasy worlds inspired by mythology 🙂

How does this book sound? Do you have it on your TBR or have you read it already?

Have you read any of Traci Chee’s books? Which ones are your favourite?

Are you too a lover of fantasy books inspired by mythology? If yes, please leave recommendations for me in the comments below!

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