This month’s FYA Book Club selection is The Red Palace by June Hur. This historical murder-mystery set in 1700s Korea is darkly atmospheric and rich with vibrant details that will make you feel like you’re also lurking around the Crown Prince’s palace.

Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!

Content Warning

Murder, blood & gore depiction including corpses, torture, police brutality


The author described her novel as a “historical k-drama”. Do you watch, or have you watched, any K-dramas? Share your recs!


1. Historical novels are uniquely fascinating because they both entertain and inform, especially when an author is passionate about the history of the time period they’re writing in. What was the most interesting thing you learned about this time period/setting that you didn’t know before reading The Red Palace?

2. What did you think about the practice of medicine in this historical setting? What interested or upset you the most, knowing what we know from a modern-day, Western medicine lens?

3. Discuss the themes of parental approval and patriarchy in the novel. What were the challenges Hyeon and the other characters faced? Did their issues help you connect to the characters?

4. What did you think of Hyeon and Eojin’s professional and personal relationship? Did you like them together?

5. Did the mystery aspects of the novel work for you? Did you guess whodunnit?

6. Crown Prince Sado was a real person, and a tragic and terrifying figure in Korean history. Did you know of his life prior to reading the novel? What did you think of his character?

7. The time, place, and society you are born into can massively inform your life. If they lived in modern day, do you think Hyeon and Eojin would have the same professions or interests? If not, what do you think they’d be doing instead?

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.