Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fury of the Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia #2) by Cindy Pon

The Gods have abandoned Ai Ling.

Her mysterious power haunts her day and night, and she leaves home—with just the moon as her guide—overwhelmed by her memories and visions and an unbearable sense of dread. For Ai Ling knows that Chen Yong is vulnerable to corrupt enchantments from the under-world. How can she do nothing when she has the skill and power to fight at his side? A dream has told her where he is, the name of the ship he is traveling on, his destination. So she steals off and stows away on board.

The ocean voyage brings with it brutal danger, haunting revelations, and new friendships, but also the premonition of a very real and terrifying threat. Zhong Ye—the powerful sorcerer whom Ai Ling believed she had vanquished in the Palace of Fragrant Dreams—is trapped in Hell, neither alive nor dead. Can he reach from beyond the grave to reunite with Silver Phoenix and destroy Chen Yong? And destroy whatever chance Ai Ling has at happiness, at love?

In this sequel to the acclaimed novel Silver Phoenix, four lives are woven together and four destinies become one, now and forever.

Blurb from Goodreads......

Review: (Warning, contains spoilers)

Silver Phoenix caught me with its beauty and adventure and this book was pretty much as good as the first, cementing this as one of the most magical series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The story was interesting and engaging and of course I adore the characters. I wasn’t sure I’d like this series when I began reading it, but Cindy Pon has created a lush, magic world, one that I’ve enjoyed getting lost in every second of the journey. This world is stunning and mythical and the characters are wonderful. It’s well written and descriptive and Pon captures the scene perfectly.

Ai Ling has been a fantastic heroine. She’s strong and brave, with vulnerabilities and issues just like everyone else. I love that she goes against most typical notions for her world and people and that she isn’t afraid to push boundaries and do things that would typically get her into trouble if she was caught. It’s been brilliant getting to be with Ai Ling again on her journey. This book was exciting from the very beginning and I was eager to see what she would get up to next. And whether she and Chen Yong would finally be together!
I love Chen Yong. Have from the very first time we met him in the first book. He’s refined and subtle, but oh, he’s sexy too. I think it’s that quite type, that one who keeps things to himself that appeals to me. Oh, and the adorable way in which he cares for Ai Ling and takes care of her.
These two characters are excellent, and when they’re together the story has just that little extra spark to it. All the scenes where they’re together are brilliant and I loved the way in which they slowly and gradually fell for one another over the course of these two books. It felt real and believable and was so incredibly sweet. I mean, you knew it was going to happen, and you could see it happening over time, but that didn't take away the thrill when it eventually all came out.

I have mixed emotions about how this book was set out to be honest. The different stories, one with Ai Ling in the current time and Zhong Ye 300 years before, surprised me at first. I didn’t expect it and there are things I both loved and hated about it. I actually was surprised by the person Zhong Ye used to be. From having known him in the first book, it was almost like he was a completely different person. The way he acted and his personality was nothing like what it was in Silver Phoenix. Plus, the relationship he shared with Silver Phoenix was nothing like what I came to believe in the first book. Theirs was actually a really sweet, very tender romance....until it was all destroyed in the end. Granted I do kinda understand why he became so twisted and angry and it does make me understand his motives and reasons a bit more, but now I just feel sad for him.
That being said, I also felt kinda cheated with his parts being in the book. Obviously I’m not reading the book just because of Ai Ling and Chen Yong, but I would have liked to see more of them. We still got a great tale, with plenty of action with them, but Zhong Ye took away book space which could have featured them and their story. I wasn’t bored by his parts, but I admit I wasn’t quite as interested as I was with the rest of the book and I kept waiting to get back to Ai Ling and Chen Yong. Still, it was woven together beautifully and it finally allowed us to learn more about Silver Phoenix.

I was so pleased with the ending of this book. There were plenty of, “awww,” moments and I must say I’m thrilled to see Ai Ling and Chen Yong get their happily ever after.
Both these books have been a joy to read. They’ve been action packed and fun, yet sad and emotional at times too and I can’t be happier with how things have ended. The two main characters I’ve come to love in this series have found happiness with each other and discovered themselves and everything they wanted to throughout this series. I’m a little sad to let them go and the series to end up it’s been a fantastic ride and I’ve loved every moment of it!

Rating: **** stars
Recommend: Yes
Did I Buy, Borrow or is it an ARC: Bought
Recommend Buy or Borrow: Buy
Ebook or Actual Book: Actual Book
Cover: It's nice
Read sequel/continue with series: This was the last book, so even though I'd love to read a dozen more books if it was possible, it isn't.....

Buy it here:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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