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Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

Immortal Longings

3peat author

Chloe Gong is officially a 3-time author at BOTM, which is a pretty big deal!

by Chloe Gong
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Quick take

In this action-packed adult debut from Chloe Gong, Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra is remade into a fantasy epic.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic


Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games. For those confident enough in their ability to jump between bodies, competitors across San-Er fight to the death to win unimaginable riches.

Princess Calla Tuoleimi lurks in hiding. Five years ago, a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty . . . and she was the one who did it. Before King Kasa’s forces in San can catch her, she plans to finish the job and bring down the monarchy. Her reclusive uncle always greets the victor of the games, so if she wins, she gets her opportunity at last to kill him.

Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat. His childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace, and he’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Thankfully, he’s one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will. His last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.

Calla finds both an unexpected alliance with Anton and help from King Kasa’s adopted son, August, who wants to mend Talin’s ills. But the three of them have very different goals, even as Calla and Anton’s partnership spirals into something all-consuming. Before the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for—her lover or her kingdom.

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Why I love it

Immortal Longings, Chloe Gong’s adult fantasy debut, grabbed me by the throat and left my mind a shambling mess, and I enjoyed every moment of it. Gong’s prose is a scalpel, and her plotting pounds the reader relentlessly like a sledgehammer.

This story may be inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, but with dashes of dystopia, potentially fatal competitive games, and other fresh elements it’s so, so much more. Immortal Longings despite all these many cool elements and influences is so uniquely Gong. She tells a deep and complicated story full of soul, mind-teetering suspense, and twisted sharp turns that not so much stops the heart as outright shatters it. The plot pulls you through the filthy and dense fantastical city of San-Er, leaving the reader gasping for breath but begging to turn one more page.

This book is stacked with memorable characters you love to hate, hate to love, but no matter what won’t let you go or let you look away. I’m a sucker for the rivals to lovers trope, and Immortal Longings delivers in spades, mixing it effortlessly with glorious witty banter and intense action.

Immortal Longings is an absolute winner. This is Chloe Gong’s world, and the rest of us are just lucky to live in it. I cannot wait for the sequel!

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