Silver Phoenix

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

I so wanted to like this book. When I first read about it (during the great cover controversy), I was taking a class on multicultural books for children and teens and I thought it sounded perfect for the unit on literature on Asian culture, but I wasn’t able to get a hold of one of the three copies in my local library system until two weeks ago.

The premise (highly reduced to the basic plot): Asian fantasy with a female hero.

Ancient Chinese fantasy world? Definitely something I can enjoy. Female hero? Have you read this blog before? I crave books with sheroes.

The execution, however, was another matter. The writing is flowy and lyrical, just what you would want in a story that almost reads like a myth, but I just couldn’t get into it. It took me a week to get halfway through the novel, which felt terribly long considering this is a genre I usually gobble-up in a day. I asked myself if I really cared if I never learned what happened to Ai Ling at the end and realized that I didn’t and could just let it go.

I wish I could have enjoyed this, but something about the pacing and writing style just didn’t work for me. It sounds like a very interesting book and I’m sure other readers will really enjoy it, but it was starting to feel like I was reading it just to prove some point that I didn’t need to prove.

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4 thoughts on “Silver Phoenix

  1. Ugh, sorry it didn’t work out for you. I admit, despite the cover controversy, this book has never sounded like one I’d enjoy. Just the genre isn’t really my thing.

    • It’s kind of ironic that the cover turned me off the book, but the description made me think I might enjoy it… looks like my snap cover judgment was right this time.

  2. Well, if you like old China there’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan which is definitely lacking in sheroes… But I remember it balanced fiction narrative, pacing, and story pretty well.

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