"I'm not afraid, Jade said,
standing tall, her shoulders held back proudly.
"Not anymore, and never again."
- Jade of The Great Forest, Julie C. Dao Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix
(Rise of the Empress #2)
by Julie C. Dao
Expected publication: November 6th 2018 by Philomel Books (Penguin Random House)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4. 5 to be exact)
This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to the Rise of the Empress novels.
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn't want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won't soon forget.
Fans of Stealing Snow, Red Queen, and The Wrath and the Dawn will hungrily devour this page-turning read. [n.01]
Meet the Author
Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.
For this tour I am extending my thanks to 2 awesome bloggers who are co-hosting this tour with Penguin Random House . First is to Erika or The Nocturnal Fey and Rafael of The Royal Polar Bear Reads. I got the book on Friday and it included pins!
Today will be my stop along with Jenny of Levicorpvs Blog and Dani of dmcireads. Make sure to visit these amazing blogger!
Disclaimer: Does contain spoilers. If you haven't read any of these books, you won't get the parts of the story I will be alluding to.
If you are wondering why I my rating was short of a fraction of a star, well it's because of the romance. I was discussing this book with Rafael and he asked me why. Simple answer - Jade started out as a meek girl who was going into a literal nest of vipers when her Stepmother sent for her from being exiled in a monastery. Even before she met Koichi, she has already started to grow that backbone that I knew she was going to have. It's not even the fact the Koichi is a little person like his father Shiro (they are actually one of the best representation in this book). But really, a story that has a kick ass heroine like Jade does not need the love interest formula. Jade already has a heart sister in Wren, what she needed was the platonic guy best friend, which Koichi would have been perfect as.
Aside from the romance bit, everything else in this book was perfect. I loved how Jade saw the empire - beautiful, mysterious, powerful, and worthy of a respect from even the highest rank in the land. I honestly liked this book better than the first one. If you haven't read it yet you have to go read it because it sets the back ground story and the ending that Xifeng saw in the cards as a young girl.
This is one of the best Snow White Re-tellings I have ever read. The evil was real and so human. The trials were difficult but not hard to overcome. The story, it was just magical.
Have you read any of the books in the Rise of the Empress Duology? What did you think?
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