Saturday, August 1, 2009

Silver Phoenix Cindy Pon

Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia by Cindy Pon - It's been a month since Ai Lang, first letting its time for her to get married. When Ai Lang is rejected by the groom she is embarrassed but not sorry. At this get together Ai Ling gets the first inkling of her powers. Her spirit can enter others, allowing her to see their thoughts and dreams. As the story continues her powers get stronger as well as Ai Lang's ability to control them. Unlike most girls her age, Ai Lang can read and write. She was taught by her father, a former high official at the Emperor's court. Ai Lang father's is called back to the Palace, it was suppose to take two months but after several months he still hasn't returned. Ai Lang and her mother are doing there best to make take everything while he is away. All is well until, Master Hung ( nearly 50, with 3 wives) a merchant tries to take advantage of the situation, claiming there is a debt to be paid. Master Hung will forget the debt if Ai Lang will agree to marry him. Ai Lang decides to run away to find her father, so her mother isn't at the mercy of Master Hung. Ai Lang, meets up with Chen Yong. Chen Yong is in search of his birth parents. In Xia he is treated has an outcast because he is not full Xian. Eventually the two run into Chen Yong's younger brother, Li Rong. Ai Lang must confront a man who has been stealing spirits in order to live. Chen Yong and Li Rong, agree to help. I loved these three to together, they had great chemistry. Though, Ai Lang, travelled with two guys it was never about which one she would love, and I appreciated that. Its not written in stone that a female and male lead must fall in love on a mission.
This was a pleasure to read. Its filled with great action. Since the story is set in China, I couldn't easily anticipate what would happen next. Pon's writing is great, once I started I didn't want to stop.

The cover doesn't do the book enough justice. I read Silver Phoenix because I kept reading great reviews about the book. If not for those reviews, I would have missed a great read. The cover simply doesn't entice me. There are two strong male progatonist in the novel, but neither are featured on the cover. Not putting at least one of the male leads on the cover limits the audience.

Two cover's I would have liked better

The three travel most of the way by foot. There is one horse which Ai Lang rides.
Cover option 1- Ai Lang on the horse (dagger visible) with Chen Yong and Li Rong on either side of her (swords visible)

At one point the three must ride a dragon together.
Cover option 2- The three riding a dragon Ai Lang is holding onto the dragon, Chen Yong holds onto Ai Lang, and Li Rong holds onto Chen Yong. When I read that scene I thought it worked very well visually and would make a great cover. Weapons showing of course. There's something about weapons that always makes me pause, unless I am on the street, then I run.

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Tarie Sabido said...

Thank you so much for the link love, Doret. Cindy Pon rocks! Would it sound too biased if I say that Asian fantasy is awesome? :o) Cause Asian fantasy is awesome! Have you read Moribito? I think you will like that one too.

"There's something about weapons that always makes me pause, unless I am on the street, then I run." -----> Hahahahahahahaha!

Doret said...

Tarie, No I haven't read Moribito. Silver Phoenix is my first glimpse into the awesomeness that is Asian fantasy.

Oh goody, you got to the funny part. Figured anyone who read the whole post should be rewarded with a laugh.

Ali said...

I like both your cover ideas better than the one they chose. This cover looks almost romance-y to me, with all the pinkness. It sounds like a great, action-packed story, though.

Doret said...

Ali, its really good

Zetta said...

I've been hearing good things about this book, but admit the cover did look exploitative--the exotic Asian female, her flowing satin robes...let's see her kicking a**!

Charlotte said...

Yeah, I didn't like the cover much other--way too pink! I hope the paperback is cooler.