Review of Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Silver PhoenixTitle/Author: Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Publisher/Year: Harper Teen 2009
Where I Got It: Bought it for the Teen Book Scene tour I’m taking part in!

Ai Ling is at the age where all her other peers are being chosen for marriage and it appears that nobody wants Ai Ling. When her father doesn’t come back from a trip to the Emperor’s palace, Ai Ling knows that she has to go find him…especially when some strange things are happening at home that she can’t explain and she’s being coerced into marrying a man whom repulses her. A lot is riding on her finding her father…even more than she realizes!

Wow. I typically don’t read a lot of fantasy. I’m not sure why exactly but I guess I thought it wouldn’t do much for me. I was wrong. Silver Phoenix was infused with action, magical elements, vivid descriptions and a slice of romantic tension. I could not put this one down and found myself reading it on my Nook while I was stuck in traffic. The writing was phenomenal and Pon created such a believable world with all the mythical and magical elements blended in. I was completely enthralled by the various creatures Ai Ling and company came across and wanted to know more about the fantastical elements and why they were after here. Oh and the descriptions…all the descriptions of the surrounding world, the food, etc. were incredible. I found my mouth watering when she would describe a meal and could feel the travel bug within me bouncing off the walls with her descriptions of the beautiful countryside and the various locations Ai Ling passed through.
Ai Ling was such a refreshing character! She was so kickass and sure of herself…and she certainly didn’t need the men fighting her battles or telling her how they were to get out of the current situation they were in. My only problem with Ai Ling was that she felt very aloof to me. I couldn’t figure out if her aloofness was intentional and that she was the type of girl that just didn’t let people in or if it was a flaw in the character development. I just wanted to figure out what made her tick and what she really felt. It seemed like she had a one track mind to finding her father but I knew there had to be more to her than that. She was so strong but I wanted to know if it were just the necklace she had that made her that way or what was really behind that strength. I wanted to use her special capability to penetrate her thoughts so I could just get a sense of who she was.
My Final Thought: If you are looking for fantasy that is on the brink of YA and adult, I think this one is great. I found it to be a lot more mature than some other YA fantasy I’ve read and it was so unique and definitely refreshing since the driving force of the book was NOT a romance. The magical world and creatures was deftly imagined and the vivid descriptions just added to the enjoyability of the action-packed journey! I will definitely be reading the next one in the series to find out some of the things I’m dying to know and to see if we get to know Ai Ling a little bit more!

Review on a Post-It (something new I’ve been trying):

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