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What if you could avenge your own murder? A brilliant young woman gets a second chance at life in this debut YA tale of vengeance, court intrigue, and romance, inspired by classic Chinese tropes.
Mingshin outsmarted three princes to help the man she loved become king. But she doesn’t see Ren’s betrayal coming, not until she’s lying in a pool of her own blood on the palace steps.
As she’s dying, Mingshin makes a desperate plea to the gods to turn back time and give her a chance to make things right. Then, Mingshin wakes up two years earlier, her prayer granted, and swears two things: Ren will never become king, and she will never fall in love again.

But the timeline in this life has changed: a dignitary gifted with dark magic is threatening her kingdom’s peace, and Ren’s thirst for power runs deeper than Mingshin could have imagined.

She finds herself allying with Jieh, another contender for the throne. Mingshin knows better than anyone not to give her heart to a prince. But in the viper’s nest of the royal court, she and Jieh prove a phenomenal team. Can Mingshin avert the catastrophe of her past by once again learning to trust…and maybe even love?

“An incredible addition to the classic Chinese court intrigue genre. A Bright Heart is smart, subversive, and certainly swoony.” – Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights

“Debut author Chenli employs abundant court relations, romance elements, and a well-developed cast to present a vivid and evenly paced fantasy series starter that centers a determined heroine seeking to topple an archaic patriarchal society.” —Publishers Weekly

“The clever premise and intriguing and suspenseful plot will keep readers engaged. A fresh and compelling voice.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The characters are complex and well-developed and the fairytale-like romance still shows an equal partnership and a thoughtful message about looking past first impressions. This book will appeal to any reader who loves fantasy with a good mix of romance, ancient Chinese court politics, and magic.”—Booklist

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