Hello, welcome to the second half of my tour stop for The Red Palace by June Hur, hosted by Colored Pages. You can find the details about the book and my review in my previous post. I’ve kept this spoiler free, so worry not.
Note: These quotes were taken from the digital advance reader copy I received from the publisher. The final edition may differ slightly.
Moonlight drifted as quietly as falling snow, illuminating the pavilion roofs and the animal shaped statues that lined the swooping eaves. Floor lanterns spilled golden light across the frosted courtyards, and against the latticed labyrinth of doors and windows. Silence reigned, except for the distant ring of the great bell, echoing through the capital and rumbling over Changdeok Palace. By the twenty-eighth ring, the palace gates would be bolted shut for the night.Chapter 1
I knew how to keep my heart calm in the face of death and dying, screaming patients, and yet one sharp word from my father, and I turned into a fragile child. Before him, I never knew how to keep myself from crying—the type of crying that left me in a heap of violent shudders and gasped attempts to speak—no matter how much he resented the sight of it all. I wanted so much to be accepted by him. And I hated this feeling; I wished it to go away.Chapter 6
It was no wonder that I’d read of Segeomjeong Pavilion so often in literature and poems. The pavilion nestled under a forested mountain and next to a trickling stream that sparkled in the setting sun, casting a spell over one’s mind with the thought that everything was well with the kingdom. There was no famine. There was no horror, no pain. There was no grief. There was only water, earth, and trees.Chapter 7
He held my gaze, his brows drawn low with concern. “I promise. I promise on my father’s grave that nothing you tell me will ever be turned against you.”
And in that moment, I felt a strange feeling.
I trusted him.Chapter 7
With that, I gave the servant a faint smile and stepped into my home. Silence and shadows swarmed around me, heavy with Mother’s grief, the one wound I couldn’t stitch up. A wound that made me feel so helpless I wanted to run away from it—but I was her daughter. We were family.Chapter 8
Letting out a heavy sigh, I slid open the door to her chamber, and as the glow of candlelight filled my vision, for a moment, I saw Mother as she had once been. A gisaeng of exquisite beauty, and so intelligent that powerful men would come from all around the kingdom to converse with her. One of the men had been my father. A whirlwind love story, it was, Servant Mokgeum had once told me. They could hardly survive a day without each other.
But the pool of candlelight faded, and I stared at the mother who’d raised me, with her severely tied hair and a face that looked as empty as a storm-washed sky, eyes so dim they reminded me of a pair of burnt-out wicks.Chapter 8
Within a few paces, I caught sight of the flared tile roof of the police bureau rising above the sea of thatched huts like dark storm clouds. I saw, too, a group of young police officers standing outside, speaking with someone. My gaze gravitated toward the tallest officer, a veil of rain dripping from the brim of his black hat.Chapter 9
I was suddenly filled with the urge to burst into laughter. Laughter over the terrifyingly ridiculous situation I’d found myself, and from the sheer sense of wonder that the darkest time had brought a friend into my life.Chapter 10
My stomach tightened into a knot as I wrung my hands, and forced my gaze onto the floor. But I couldn’t refocus myself. My guard fell away like a sigh of defeat, and I admitted to myself a truth that made my ears burn.
I wanted to love and be loved.
I wanted to be known.
I wanted to be understood and accepted.Chapter 11
The great bell struck, its resounding ring rumbling down the streets. Massive gates on all corners of the fortress thundered shut, and we narrowly made it out on horseback. Hooves pounded across the earth as the capital and its guardian mountain dwindled into a black-ridged shadow.Chapter 16