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Saturday, May 4, 2013

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Review: Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Kingdom of Xia #2
Author: Cindy Pon
Released Date: March 10, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

The Gods have abandoned Ai Ling.

Her mysterious power haunts her day and night, and she leaves home--with just the moon as her guide--overwhelmed by her memories and visions and an unbearable sense of dread. For Ai Ling knows that Chen Yong is vulnerable to corrupt enchantments from the under-world. How can she do nothing when she has the skill and power to fight at his side? A dream has told her where he is, the name of the ship he is traveling on, his destination. So she steals off and stows away on board.

The ocean voyage brings with it brutal danger, haunting revelations, and new friendships, but also the premonition of a very real and terrifying threat. Zhong Ye--the powerful sorcerer whom Ai Ling believed she had vanquished in the Palace of Fragrant Dreams--is trapped in Hell, neither alive nor dead. Can he reach from beyond the grave to reunite with Silver Phoenix and destroy Chen Yong? And destroy whatever chance Ai Ling has at happiness, at love?

In this sequel to the acclaimed novel Silver Phoenix, four lives are woven together and four destinies become one, now and forever.

*Warning: May contain minor spoilers from the previous novel*

     Remember the evil sorcerer by the name of Zhong Ye from the previous novel, Silver Phoenix? In Fury of the Phoenix, the sequel to Silver Phoenix, it's been a few months after Zhong Ye's death and Ai Ling receives warning from a dream that Chen Yong is in danger. Knowing that, Ai Ling finds a way to try and find him.
     During Ai Ling's journey, we go through a few flashbacks throughout the book entering Zhong Ye's life when he's just a worker in the Emperor's Palace (I'm not talking about the buffet) trying to climb up in rank to how he came to be in Silver Phoenix. Ai Ling and Chen Yong have also changed a lot and matured a bit (maybe a lot?) since the previous novel.
      I'm not exactly sure what to make of the second (and I think final?) component to the Kingdom of Xia series. I personally picked up the series because it was based on Ancient China (just in general terms – there are fictional stuff as well) and thought it would be really interesting to read. But staying away from the series – actually, I never even knew a sequel existed until I joined Goodreads – and then coming back to it has made me realize that I'm missing out in the world that Cindy Pon creates in Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix. In fact, I even miss the dumplings and buns. And that's coming from someone who has those often... :p I also want to visit China one day, though I certainly don't want to meet some of the unpleasant creatures both Ai Ling, Chen Yong and Zhong Ye encounter in the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Owls

~Happy Reading!


Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.