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Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong
Fantasy

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

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach

    Salacious

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic

Synopsis

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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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Immortal Longings.
Immortal Longings

CHAPTER 1

A living thing, when faced with a break or injury, is compelled to heal itself. A cut will clot with blood, trapping in a person’s qi. A bone will smooth over, knitting new threads at every split. And San-Er’s buildings, when an inconvenience is identified, will rush to mend the sore, pinpointing every fracture and hurling remedies with vigor. From the top of the palace, all that can be seen are the stacked structures composing the twin cities, interlocked and dependent upon one another, some attached to a neighbor from the ground level and others connected only at the highest floors. Everyone in the kingdom of Talin wants to be in its capital—in these two cities masquerading as one—and so San-Er must grow denser and higher to accommodate, covering up its offenses and stenches with utter incoherence.

August Shenzhi tightens his grip on the balcony railing, tearing his gaze away from the horizon of rooftops. His attention should be with the marketplace below, which bustles at high volume inside the coliseum walls. Three generations ago, the Palace of Union was built beside San’s massive coliseum—or perhaps it’s more apt to say it was built into the coliseum, the north side of the elevated palace enmeshed with the coliseum’s south wall, its turrets and balconies pulling apart stone and slotting itself right in to close the gap. Every window on the north side has a perfect view of the market, but none better than this balcony. Back when he still made public appearances, King Kasa stood here to make his speeches. The market would be cleared out, and his subjects would come to gather in the only plot of open space inside San-Er, cheering for their monarch.

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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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Member ratings (8,945)

  • Erin A.

    Huntington Beach, CA

    I am upset the other books in the series aren’t written yet. She is the villain hero you can’t help but want to win, the love story you aren’t sure is going to work out and a futuristic world you fear

  • Cambria S.

    Salt Lake City, UT

    I don’t quite understand the holistic reviews on here and Goodreads. Honestly, I’ve see way worse books get better feedback on BOTM (The Last Apothecary, etc.). The book isn’t a BOTY, but still fun!

  • Brittany O.

    Portsmouth, VA

    I’ve enjoyed all of the author’s books, but this is far and away the best! The setting and world building are super interesting and there are plenty of twists and turns. Can’t wait for the next one!

  • Allyson S.

    Bayside, NY

    When I read the first chapter I thought I knew how I’d feel about the book - I was wrong. So much better than I’d predicted - there’s so much emotion packed in and I can’t wait for the next one!

  • Jaime S.

    Kaneohe, HI

    I didn’t know this would be a trilogy when I first started it but now I can’t wait to read what will happen next in the world of San-Er. Very intrigued by the characters of Calla, Anton, and August.

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