Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress Book 2)
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn't want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won't soon forget.
Fans of Stealing Snow, Red Queen, and The Wrath and the Dawn will hungrily devour this page-turning read.
She was raised for 15 years in a far-off monastery with her loving nursemaid, Amah. Then Empress Xifeng sends for her and Jade quickly learns it is not really to learn how to be the heir to the throne. With the discovery that Xifeng is likely poisoning her father and is behind the disappearances of more than one pretty female over the years, Jade embarks on a journey to unite the items of each god and summon the dragon guard to fight Xifeng’s evil snake army.
With Wren and Koichi at her side, Jade successfully overcomes her trials, finds friendship, and love. There are a few surprises along the way of identities revealed.
I listened to the audiobook version of this tale and thought it was well done. The narrator’s voice was soft and careful and fit in well with Princess Jade’s character.
Overall, this Asian retelling of Snow White was well done. The setting was made up, but it had a rich history and many folk stories to make it believable and guide Princess Jade in her quest to free her people of Xifeng’s cruel reign.