Silver Phoenix

Silver Phoenix : Beyond the Kingdom of Xia

3.57 (3,146 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 338 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • Greenwillow Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0061730211
  • 9780061730214
  • 246,977

Review quote

Brilliantly conceived . . . strong characters and lyrical writing make this story compelling for young adults. --Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)"
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Rating details

3,146 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 23% (712)
4 33% (1,044)
3 28% (890)
2 11% (347)
1 5% (153)

Our customer reviews

From the beginning, Ai Ling has lived life differently from most young women in Xia. Born of parents who married for love, she is a cherished only child in a society that prizes sons, educated by her scholarly father and, as she comes of age, the ability to sense the thoughts of those around her. When her father is called to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams expecting to be away no longer than two months, he leave his daughter with two things: a green jade pendant carved with the character "spirit" and the reminder that she is special beyond the belief held by a doting father. A woman traveling alone is a dangerous undertaking, but more than three months pass and an opportunistic merchant tries to force her into an unwanted marriage, and Ai Ling knows that she must journey to the Palace herself and bring her father home. Attack by an unknown, dark force brings rescue and a traveling companion in the form of nineteen-year-old Chen Yong, a young man also searching for his father. It is only after another attack, the counsel of Master Tan, and a glimpse at The Book of The Dead, that Ai Ling truly begins to grasp the enormity of her power and the menace she faces. Joined by Chen Wong's brother, the outrageously flirtatious Li Rong, the three teenagers embark on a pilgrimage that will lead to the gods themselves...and eventually to a confrontation with an evil sorcerer Ai Ling has (unknowingly) faced before. Where do I start with all the things I love about Cindy Pon's debut fantasy SILVER PHOENIX? Finally, a novel based on Chinese legends and myth rather than the same, tired rehash of Celtic and other western European folklore. I relished Ms. Pon's vividly rendered portraits of both Ai Ling's normal and paranormal "worlds," from the quiet tranquility of her family's home, to the lush splendor of the Golden Palace, or the frightening grotesqueness of The Chief and The Anatomist. Ms. Pon exhibits a deft ability in characterization, giving us multidimensional humans, appropriately removed deities, and viciously single-minded evil entities. Even Zhong Ye boasts enough shading and nuance to become more than the stereotypical archvillain. Ai Ling is a compelling protagonist and, though some might say it's unusual for a young woman in her position to so easily overstep society's boundaries (even to save a beloved parent), Ms. Pon has already established that Ai Ling is unaccustomed to those restraints. My only complaint in this area is that while Chong Ye is clearly the odds-on favorite for Ai Ling's romantic interest, he falls flat in the presence of Li Rong's flare and charm. And while the continued reference to characters packing and unloading their knapsacks (did knapsacks even exist in ancient China?) kept jarring me out of the story, I loved everything about SILVER PHOENIX. This is one of those rare books that has made my "keeper" shelf. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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