Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Red Palace by June Hur

The Red Palace by June Hur
Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9781250800558

In 1758 Joseon (Korea), 18-year-old Hyeon worked hard to become a palace nurse, one of the very few positions an illegitimate daughter can hold, with the hopes of doing a good job and earning her father’s approval, but her hopes are dashed when her mentor is accused of murdering four girls and Hyeon chooses to risk her life and position to help clear her mentor’s name.

The Red Palace is a fast-paced gruesome historical mystery sprinkled with romance, court politics, fascinating historical medicinal practices, and a coming-of-age story. The mystery is well-written, giving readers a chance to solve the mystery while feeling the pressure of Hyeon always needing to watch her back since no one can be trusted. This novel is inspired by the real-life Crown Prince Sado of Joseon.
Give The Red Palace to fans of Enola Holmes or Descendant of the Crane by Joan He.

Allison Riggs

Other Nominated Titles:

  • Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry
  • Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed
  • Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.