The Fire Horse Girl Kay Honeyman Book Review

You know when you absolutely love a book and you want to shout it from the rooftops and then let everyone and their mother know just how great the book is. You are absolutely convinced that everyone should be reading it. THEN come to find out, the book ends up not getting a whole lot of attention despite being totally awesome and legit and full of plot lines that WE ALL LOVE. Friends, that book is The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman. This book is 100% legit and honestly deserves a parade or something to make up for the lack of coverage on the blogs — which HONESTLY to me, if something isn’t being splashed all over book blogs in MY OWN PERCEPTION that means it is being sorely neglected. YOU GUYS STOP NEGLECTING THE FIRE HORSE GIRL.

The Fire Horse Girl Kay Honeyman Book Cover

Raise your hand if you love reading historical fiction. Raise it up high if you love books staring fierce females who are headstrong. Raise it up to the ceiling if you are a huge fan of when girls dress like boys in order to have freedom. PREACH IT SISTER FRIENDS. Anyways. The Fire Horse Girl has those elements IN SPADES. So, basically Jade Moon is a female born in the year of the fire horse which is kind of a big deal on the Chinese zodiac, I guess. Basically, this is a very bad thing because it means that she’s not exactly submissive but very independent and stubborn, actually. Jade Moon lives in China with her dad and Grandfather. Her mother died in child birth, and because Jade Moon is a fire horse girl everyone blames the family’s bad luck on her. When the opportunity comes to go to America, Jade Moon sees the road to opportunity and her dreams. She will do whatever it takes to get to America. In fact she kind of grabs her dreams right by the horns and I 100% support it and find it awesome.

Jade Moon definitely deserves to be the main character because she is utterly fascinating. In a time when girls basically had to sit down and shut up, she’s all I am woman hear me roar. And I am like YOU GO GIRL, GET ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF! Because I think in all caps. Pretty much every single person in her life tells her she is not good enough because she does not submit and because of her whole birth during the year of the fire horse and being a girl. Instead of getting down and depressed, she gets determined. It results in good life choices. So basically I would totally send a Valentine with chocolates to Jade Moon because she is awesome. Straight up.

If you are looking for a long, slow meandering book, The Fire Horse Girl is NOT for you. If, on the other hand, you want a book that draws you in from the first chapter and won’t let you go until the last page, The Fire Horse Girl might as well be your next read. The dialogue comes across as fairly authentic. I wasn’t like okay people do not talk like that ever. Lady go outside and listen to people talk. Instead, I was all YES I COULD HEAR THIS CONVERSATION. PLEASE SPEAK MORE. Seriously, Kay Honeyman’s book is wonderfully written and the word flow might as well be perfect because I never had to reread a paragraph to clarify what the heck was going on.

YOU GUYS! I never ever get to read about this setting — 1923 and no flapper focus. I’d be lying if I said I read too many flapper books because one can never have enough flapper books. However, The Fire Horse Girl has interesting historical things going for it! It covers immigration and Angel Island. It covers little China in San Francisco and actual China, itself. There are Tongs, paper sons, and the Chinese Exclusionary Act. It’s kind of my inner history nerd’s dream come true. Like, my inner history nerd wants to write a ballad or an ode or a haiku to this book.

The romance in The Fire Horse Girl isn’t exactly the sweep you off your feet sort. It’s very, very, very slow to develop. And that development is only after a ton of bumps in the road along the way. Plus, the two characters who fall for each other really don’t get along very much. So, basically it’s my ideal romance. And yes, there’s not like any kissing scenes or anything. So, if you’re like OH NO SEXUAL CONTENT, you will like this book.

Obviously if you can’t tell by my mad ramblings, I am a huge fan of The Fire Horse Girl and totally want to push it on you. Like, this is one of those books that deserves more attention. It deserves to not be shoved aside by the more flashy paranormal or dystopian books. Instead, The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman deserves a spot right on center stage for it’s unique setting, strong writing, and FIERCE leading lady, Jade Moon.

Disclosure: Received for review

Other reviews of The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman:

City Of Books – “a must-read for any historical fiction lovers

Confessions Of A Readaholic – “I was immediately captured by the gorgeous writing

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve seen this one around but haven’t yet had a chance to pick it up. *adds to TBR pile* This sounds like one that deserves some serious buzz! I’ll have to let my HS librarian friends know about it, too. We’re always on the lookout for awesome.

  2. WOW! OK, so I was on the fence about this one… but after your review I feel like I MUST read it. Great review April!

  3. Wow, you seriously loved this book! I will have to look into it. I really love the cover. Not that that is the only reason to read a book, of course 🙂

  4. This is why I love book blogs! I would have never heard of this book otherwise! It sounds fantastic! I don’t know why it wouldn’t have gotten more attention for the cover alone… Thanks April!!

  5. You just about had me at “headstrong”. YOU DEFINITELY had me at “when girls dress like boys”. I have been a sucker for cross dressing heroines ever since the days of Alanna and will read just about anything involving that. Especially since you’ve made it sound so awesome! Have just added it to my cart, ready to buy when I put through my next book order.

  6. I’ve seen this book around but I was always kinda iffy about it. But after reading your review, my interest is definitely piqued! I love headstrong independent female characters so I think I would really like this. Great review!

  7. Oh awesome! I actually had this marked to-read, but I was afraid of it, because it was compared to Kristen Cashore, and that has burned me many a time. Honestly, from your description, I don’t know that I’m seeing that comparison at all, other than that they’re both fantasy, but whatevs.

    I probably won’t get to it for ages, but, girl, know that I want to.

  8. Aah, I’ve seen this one but totally overlooked it because of the cover not really appealing to me. ALTHOUGH I will say that it does kind of look like Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok which is a book that I did love, kind of with a similar story line, that is an Alex Award winner. But not the same book exactly.

    But you do a heckuva job putting your thoughts about this one on the page and THAT, April, is why your blog is one of my favorites. When I see this one next time, I won’t bypass it without pause as I’ve done in the past.

    Also I like that time period and setting. Freakin love your enthusiam here for this book. It is infectious.

  9. Glad to hear this one is a good read! I tagged it to read awhile back when I read the premise. I love historical fiction, I keep gravitating toward it. I’m looking forward to this one!

    I felt similarly–shouting out for everyone to read it–about Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens. I love that book so much.

  10. I’m seriously psyched to read this one already! I was looking forward to it before, but your awesome review just convinced me that I need to read it SOONER rather than later. I can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait to start it!

  11. “So, if you’re like OH NO SEXUAL CONTENT, you will like this book.”

    You crack me up. Thanks for putting this one on my radar, April.

  12. Ok, it sounds like I really need to read this, I’m raising like ten enthusiastic hands now. One of my friends is reading this right now and she’s been gushing about the heroine too. I need to steal the book from her. Or I could just be a lady and wait until she’s done and borrow it. (Ugh, manners!) Fabulous review 🙂

    (By the way, love the new blog design!)

  13. WOW! That’s a lot of love for this book! I think I saw it once or twice in netgalley but I never paid close attention, but it does sound awesome so I’ll have to check it out!

  14. I’m so glad you reviewed this one, April! I saw an ARC of it on either NG or Edelweiss, and was really curious, but hadn’t heard anything about it. This certainly sounds like something I could enjoy! Historical fiction and a girl that’s willing to defy her cultural norms ftw!

  15. I am SO EXCITED for this book. Honestly. The main character alone draws me in, but to hear that it’s all action and awesomeness is something I’m ALL ABOUT.

  16. I finally got around to reading this one and OMG it was fantastic! Why did I wait so long and why hasn’t this been celebrated by everyone in the book world?! I really hope I can find more gems like this and soon!


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