Silver Phoenix - Review

Silver Pheonix by Cindy Pon
Publication date: 28 April 2009 by HarperTeen
ISBN 10/13: 0061730211 | 9780061730214

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Keywords: Chinese, mythology, fantasy, romance, adventure
Format: Hardcover (also available in paperback and eBook)

Kimberly's Review: 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book at the YA in Bloom author signing last spring. I'm not familiar with Chinese mythology so I wasn't sure if I would have a hard time following along. But it turned out to be even better for me because all of Pon's mythology seemed extra magical.

Ai Ling and her companion Chen Yong meet gods, demons and everything in between. Creepy, scary and haunting, the descriptions of these beings are so real I had trouble shaking them from my mind after I put the book down. In fact, Pon's entire world is a beautifully woven lush fantasy.

Pon isn't afraid of broaching difficult topics and putting her characters in real danger. Ai Ling was in serious danger many times, not just from supernatural forces, but from her very own garden-variety creepy men who see women as a prized piece of meat. And to her credit, Ai Ling didn't wait for her traveling companion to rescue her. Many times, she rescued herself. Her intelligence and bravery cannot be beat. When she made mistakes, and she totally did, she was more than willing to fess up to them. Which made her even more likeable in my book.

Chen Yong and Ai Ling have a delicate relationship. Their friendship grows through the book, as does each character. As Ai Ling finds her way to the castle to find her missing father, Chen Yong is on his own journey to find his family and his history that has been a secret since his birth. It was lovely to see the slow progress of their relationship, and the growing of each character themselves.

Ai Ling is not the same girl at the end of the story. She has seen too much and grown up, so much so I am eager to read the second book to see how she is handling her gift. Chen Yong, restless and searching, also flourishes through the novel, turning into a young man who is eager to continue his quest.

A fun, fast paced story. Go on the journey with Chen Yong and Ai Ling. You won't be sorry.

Visit the author online at and follow @cindypon on Twitter.

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