Jade Fire Gold

June CL Tan. HarperTeen, $17.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-305636-7
In Tan’s thrilling debut, an homage to Xianxia novels, 16-year-old orphan Ahn has nothing but a murky past and a secret: she is a magic-wielding Tiensai, a hunted people whose powers are said to be the cause of the land’s transition into desert. The rightful heir to the corrupt Shi empire, 18-year-old Altan was betrayed by the royal family and left for dead; now, he seeks the Life Stealer to further his agenda. When fate brings the two together, they discover that Ahn’s magic is the key to their desires: Ahn, to unravel her past, and Altan, to get revenge. As they journey to seek a legendary sword in the hopes of expelling the dark magic that has corrupted the land, the two earn each other’s trust, which slowly becomes something more. Effective worldbuilding and vivid imagery suck the reader in to Tan’s high-fantasy, Chinese folklore–inspired world written from two perspectives. A strong cast of supporting characters—including a closeted emperor, a mysterious priest, and a queer spy couple—rounds out a book rooted in themes of power and imperialism. A glossary details places, cultural terminologies, and more. Ages 13–up. Agent: Elana Roth Parker, Laura Dail Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/16/2021
Release date: 10/12/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-305639-8
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