Saturday, September 19, 2009

Review by Alex- Silver Pheonix

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

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 banished to the inner quarters.

But now, something is after her. Something terrifying-a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey 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.

First Impressions: Preeeeetty cover. That was way back when the cover was first released though. And then when a copy came for me from the library, I was quite excited. Beautiful cover + interesting description = excited Alex.

Silver Phoenix is very exciting, to say the least. The beginning's a little slow, but it picks up from there, and then it's just a wild roller coaster. Ai Ling runs away, is attacked by scary monster, is saved by Chen Yong, and from there, the true adventure starts.

The two words that pop into my head to describe Silver Phoenix, are EPIC QUEST. Really, that's what Silver Phoenix is like. Ai Ling and co. battle one monster, to then meet a friend who helps them, who then are directed to go slay an evil monster, who then are helped by someone else, who then fight another monster and get lost in a mystical realm, etc. etc. until this comes to the final big boss. The baddie of them all who is holding Ai Ling's father hostage and so who Ai Ling must slay. There's of course back story that makes Silver Phoenix seem a little bit more like a novel and less like a Mario game.

I really like the asian elements of the novel. It's a historic China I guess? I think it's supposed to be Chinese? Or based on China at least. There's the old political set up with the empire and kingdom. And... other stuff.

Silver Phoenix reminded me of Mulan in someways. Mostly, the strong heroine who fights and is super brave. The buff young guy who helps the heroine through her journey. The sidekick(s) for comic relief. The fighting back to the empire. Silver Phoenix adds more though, with other realms, mystical gods and godesses, and special powers. Yeah, Ai Ling has special powers. She can read minds and do all sorts of fancy magic with her brain. It's not really delved into, on how her powers work, which is a bit of a disappointment.

The characters are all unique and interesting, although at times I found them to be a little flat and cookie cutter. Maybe that's just me. The writing's smooth and flowing. It sounds very... olden dayish. Which is a very good thing because it wouldn't have the same tone otherwise.

A favourite part of mine of Silver Phoenix is the different realms. For example, one place that is ahead of the times of the world of Ai Ling. Ahead of our times now. Each person is a hermaphrodite, both male and female. They're intelligent and inventors. The coolest thing: a carriage that flies and is steered by one's mind. Can I just say I want one of those so badly?

Final Impressions: Still think it's very exciting and interesting. The model on the cover started to scare me though. It's her expression. But overall, Silver Phoenix is a dazzling read full of fight scenes and sword stabbing, blooming love, and females full of strength.

Note This! There are many books on mythical creatures in the world, that both Ai Ling and Chen Yong have read. As a child, Ai Ling snuck many peeks at her father's old books of beasts. Ah, a character after my own heart. ;)

Add to Shelf: I'd say yes. Maybe wait until it's on paperback though.


  1. I loved this book! Glad you did, too. I hope they keep the same cover for the paperback edition, because that's the only one I'll be able to afford. :-) Great review!

  2. Loved your review--I really want to read this and the cover is so beautiful. Thanks for posting this! :)

  3. Thanks for reviewing this! I've been wanting to read it for ages, and it sounds every bit as good as I'd hoped. Plus, the Mario reference made me laugh.


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