I haven't read a book, apart from for research purposes, since last July. So, I decided to take a bit of a break from writing and read Cindy Pon's 'Silver Phoenix', which was released this week. Since I've got this blog I thought I might as well put it to good use and attempt my very first book review.
Bear with me.
Thanks to my Dad's extensive travels in the Far East, I've always been interested in Oriental culture and I was born with itchy feet. I got lucky, I've been to China. I've read a couple of Fantasy novels with Asian roots, neither of which I can remember much about, sadly. I only recall that they were bleak and dark. I won't forget 'Silver Phoenix' in a hurry. Reading this novel is like stepping into a Chinese painting. The descriptions are delicate, beautiful and elegantly crafted. Cindy Pon's imagination knows no bounds as she brings Chinese legends to life, from the gorgeous dragon to hideous demons. All of them spring to life under the author's brush strokes. Even the meals are lovingly described. The heroine, Ai Ling is impulsive, brave and, most of all, believable, in that she is not out of place. She's not a modern girl superimposed onto this fantastic backdrop. Likewise, the hero, Chen Yong; strong, courageous and loyal. The story is well paced and flows smoothly. There are no draggy bits, just quiet pauses that give the reader a chance to sit back and enjoy the scenery, whether it's a quiet courtyard alive with flowers or the magical gardens of the Golden Palace of the Immortals.
I really, really could not put it down. Now that I'm finished, I want to read more. I can't wait!