Author: Cindy Pon
Amount of Pages: 338
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Geared Towards: Teens
"She eased the courtyard door open and stepped into the silent alley. She dared not look back; Ai Ling walked as fast as she could toward the moonlight. And away from everything she had ever known and loved."
Summary (From Front Flap): No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved-despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family-to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banashed to the inner quarters.
But now, something is after her. Someting terrifying-a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her jouney to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.
Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard...she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.
It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help...and perhaps more.
Wdebo's Review: FINALLY, a book set in Chinese culture!! When Silver Phoenix first started circling through the blogosphere, I was way excited to read it, and when I saw it in my library shelf I freaked out, I was so happy, when I started it, it was actually very very good, it was quite a good read. Though there was some awakward parts in the writing, it was still pretty smooth for the most part, and a good read.
At first, since I didn't read the summary or anything, when there suddenly was magic all over the place, that surprised me, I thought it was just about a girl running away from a creepy 60 year old man who wanted to wed her, so the talk to magic and monsters was surprising, but after a while I got into it, and it just seemed to suck you in. There is always something about Chinese monsters and fairytales, I remember growing up and hearing all these stories and they were just so...I don't know how to say this...but the more you hear the more you want to hear, the danger in all the stories and excitment is just awesome-ness.
Ai Ling is a very great character, she is a very strong character, she fought for what she believed it and didn't just take it all, and not do anything about it, like many women were expected to do in China during that time. And Chen Yong is a great male character...I was hoping for a bit of romance between them, there was some like just a light sprinkle on the surface, but I guess if there was a giant amount of love between them, that would just ruin the mood that the story was trying to convey.
Cafe Cover Chat: As most of those who read my blog know, I am an ABC (American Born Chinese) so I am always a big supporter of seeing Chinese people on the cover of books, as happy making as it was to see an asian model on the cover, it pissed me off that the cover doesn't covey a very chinese-y sense to it, just because you photoshop a few dragons onto the background does not instantly make it Chinese! (B-)
All in all, a very good story, with a very strong heronie, with the mystical-ness of a Chinese Fairy.