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.
If you want to take a journey across ancient China and through mythical Chinese lands of beauty this book will not disappoint. It is also a wonderful paranormal journey with a beautiful young woman when such things were unheard of for women. Her journey to find her father is met with mythological creatures she only read about in her father's books. She also finds an enigmatic companion who's life becomes entwined with her own. Chen Young and Ai Ling become fast friends and true allies throughout this colorful, mythical adventure.
This book is a wonderful and fun journey much like the art films recently making it's debut on the American culture scene. The main character Ai Ling is very likable and I love the fact that she was a strong character even though she had no defensive training and had lead a sequestered life which was typical within her ranking in society. Sometimes she was frustrating in her rash decisions, but she learned from those decisions as well. I loved that about her character. There was violence and some sexual references which may not be appropriate for very young kids, but I think it was well done and it was within a cultural reference. Older teens will love this book. I gave this book 5 stars and can't wait for the next installment of this series. "The Fury of the Phoenix" should be here in April, 2011.
I won this signed book from the Supernatural Underground and Cindy Pon as seen in this post.
Cindy's Etsy Site
On a side note... I will be doing another post concerning this book. It will have a giveaway, but not of the book. Just keep that in mind and sick around to find out what it's about. ;)