YA Review: Of Jade and Dragons (Amber Chen)

About This Book:

Mulan meets Iron Widow in this thrilling silkpunk fantasy about a girl who must disguise herself as a boy and enter the famed and dangerous Engineer’s Guild trials to unravel the mystery of her father’s murder.

Eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying dreams of becoming a world-class engineer like her father, but after his sudden murder, her life falls apart. Left with only a journal of her father’s engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, a heartbroken Ying follows the trail to the capital and the prestigious Engineers Guild—a place that harbors her father’s hidden past—determined to discover why anyone would threaten a man who ultimately chose a quiet life over fame and fortune.

Disguised as her brother, Ying manages to infiltrate the guild’s male-only apprenticeship trial with the help of an unlikely ally—Aogiya Ye-yang, the taciturn eighth prince of the High Command. With her father’s renown placing a target firmly on her back, Ying must stay one step ahead of her fellow competitors, the jealous guild masters, and the killer still hunting for her father’s journal. Complicating everything is her increasingly tangled relationship with the prince, who may have mysterious plans of his own.

The secrets concealed within the guild can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and with her life and the future of her homeland at stake, Ying doesn’t know who to trust. Can she avenge her father even if it means going against everything he stood for, or will she be next in the mastermind’s line of fire?

*Review Contributed by Katelyn McCall, Staff Reviewer*

Mulan Meets Iron Widow? Yes please!

A story of revenge? A handsome prince? All while set in a world with DRAGONS? Sign me up immediately!

Of Jade and Dragons by Amber Chen is a YA fantasy novel about eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying, who dreams of becoming a brilliant engineer just like her beloved father – but her life is torn apart when she arrives a moment too late to stop his murder, and worse, lets the killer slip out of reach. Left with only a journal containing his greatest engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, Ying vows to take revenge into her own hands. Disguised as her brother, Ying heads to the capital city, and discovers that the answer to finding who killed her father lies behind the walls of the prestigious Engineers Guild – the home of a past her father never wanted to talk about. With the help of an unlikely ally – Aogiya Ye-yang, a taciturn (but very handsome) young prince – Ying must navigate a world fraught with rules, challenges and politics she can barely grasp, let alone understand. But to survive, she must fight to stay one step ahead of everyone. And when faced with the choice between doing what’s right and what’s necessary, Ying will have to decide if her revenge is truly worthwhile, if it means going against everything her father stood for . . .

I LOVED this book. With immaculate vibes, airships and other steampunk stuff that reminded me of Scott Westerfeld’s Levithan, AND a backdrop of a murder mystery. It’s just *chef’s kiss*.

What I loved most about this book is how Chen put the plot and worldbuilding at the forefront, and the romance in the back. I’m not always the biggest fan of books that make the romance the main selling point. Regardless, Chen knows how to write romance! Especially with a male love interest with dimples (which you don’t see that often in YA now-adays.)

But no matter how much I loved this book, the writing style kept throwing me off. It was a lovely and lyrical at times. But was almost constantly clunky. Plus I feel like Chen tells more than she shows. But at the same time, this is Chen’s FIRST book. There are going to be some pitfalls before she finds the rhythm of her writing style.

Regardless, I LOVED this book. I would highly recommend it whoever would listen. Because I feel like EVERYONE needs to read this Mulan x steampunk novel!

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE*!


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