REVIEW Silver Phoenix 107

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Ai Ling can see into other people's minds and reach into their spirits But she doesn't know why this power has awakened inside her She only knows that it is growing It leads he. You judge the gods by who bows down at their altars Ai Ling asked”Spoilers and a discussion of sexual violence follow in this an Exclusive Charlotte Review of Cindy Pon's Silver PhoenixSo What's It About On the day of her first betrothal meeting–and rejection–Ai Ling discovers a power welling deep within her She can reach into other people’s spirits hear their thoughts see their dreamsand that’s just the beginningAi Ling has been marked by the immortals; her destiny lies in the emperor’s palace where a terrible evil has lived stealing souls for centuries She must conuer this enemy and rescue her captive father while mythical demons track her every step And then she meets Chen Yong a young man with a uest of his own whose fate is intertwined with hers Here is a heart stopping breathtaking tale for fans of action fantasy and romance–of anything with the making of legendWhat I ThoughtThis is ultimately something of a big old ehhh for me Nothing about it caused me to despise it but nothing about it caused me to adore it either This book and I exist in a neutral awkward liminal space together making stilted small talkThe best that I have to say about it is that Cindy Pon clearly possesses a vivid imagination and a great capacity for translating that imagination to the paper Silver Phoenix is positively crawling with hordes of grotesue and fascinating creatures some of which genuinely disgusted me She realized then that it was composed of corpses—arms and legs jutted from the top of its head instead of hair Its naked mass was formed of human torsos limbs and worse heads and sagging faces Some of the eyes were so decomposed only empty sockets peered from a putrefied skullBut it's not all body horror Over the course of the book Ai Ling treks through many marvelous and mystical locales which are lushly and beautifully described as well My favorite is the palace of the Immortals where there are a number of magical trees There was the tree with leaves that were giant eyes blinking in the wind The irises were of every shade imaginable pink green scarlet and orange The pupils were all shaped differently from circles to suares and diamonds swirls and stars The eye leaves rustled under the gentle breeze of the heavenly mountain all blinking and all seeing THE OBSERVANT TREEAnother plus is that contrary to all the YA protagonist waifs who can barely manage to choke down a granola bar Ai Ling positively revels in food and eating This is great to see for mentalphysical health reasons but also just because all the food sounds so tasty 'A plate of roast duck steamed dumplings spicy noodles with beef gravy pickled cucumbers stewed tongue and eggs if you have them cold please and sticky rice pearls too' Ai Ling said before the server girl could open her mouth 'I don't know what he wants' Ai Ling nodded toward Chen Yong'I'm not sure I have enough coins to order anything ' he said laughing”As a final positive note I'd also add that Ai Ling's ultimate decision not to resurrect her dead friend is handled appropriately as a demanding ethical dilemma and I was uite pleased with the way in which she arrives at her final decisionMy concerns about Silver Phoenix however arise when we consider the fact that none of the characters are especially strong or interesting outside of the main antagonist Ai Ling's love for food is the main thing about her that endears her to me at all and I'll discuss the other main character Chen Yong a little bit later In addition I'd like to discuss the mixed bag of this book's feminismThe F WordYA has come a long way in the 10 years since Silver Phoenix was published and as far as I can remember this book's willingness to grapple with uestions of gender and race is something that wasn't all too common back then Generally speaking there are some good basic messages in this book for early teen readers who might be just figuring out feminism Why were women always seen as things to be possessed by men in these tales never worth than their physical beautyIt's nothing ground shattering for an adult but I think it's just the right level for a young reader to sink their teeth into In addition to matters of gender I'd like to address the matter of race in Silver Phoenix Cindy Pon is the co founder of Diversity in YA and an advisory board member for We Need Diverse Books It's clearly something that she is passionate about and that is apparent in her debut novel Silver Phoenix's ancient Chinese inspired setting is populated entirely by people of color and is fundamentally built upon the extensive and rich knowledge that stems from Pon's background in Chinese studies I especially appreciated the examination of difficulties arising from biracial identity that occurs as a part of Chen Yong's storyAt the same time I think the positive messages get a little lost when the book starts to delve into the intersection of sexism and sexual violence I really had no idea that I'd be spending so much time talking about this topic when I started this blog but here we are kids The problem is that Ai Ling is subjected to numerous instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault over the course of the book but I never felt that she had a realistic psychological response to anything that happened People may be numb after an assault; they may suppress their feelings but these are still VERY clearly different things from simply having no emotional reaction at all and or less carrying on with one's adventure like nothing out of the ordinary has happened The latter is what

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Silver PhoenixHat neither can ignore itNow they must face terrifying demons determined to kill them and battle through treacherous lands It is their destiny But can destiny keep them togethe. I have never come so close to literally throwing a book through a wall The only thing that stopped me was that it was past midnight and Melissa was sleeping peacefully and didn't deserve to be woken by mayhem I was well on my way to a five star rating until the ending I'm still a little reluctant to only drop it to threeSo yeah it's an original oriental flavored fantasy with a strong female lead and really fantastic support from Chen Yong Ai Ling afore mentioned female lead has one weak moment and one TSTL moment but I mostly got past both particularly as she redeems the weak moment later onIndeed Pon does a fantastic job crafting a uestjourney fantasy into something deeper by giving the heroic encounters along the way a narrative and unifying purpose Ai Ling finds herself trying to solve the mystery of why are so many evil things seemingly out to get her even as she struggles just to survive Both the assistance she finds as well as the resistance flow from a central narrative purpose that comes to a marvelous and beautiful conclusion that was as creepy as it was effective It's extremely well done and all the book had to do for its five star rating was end and preferably wrap up well but I'd have settled for simply endingUnfortunately the last chapter completely betrays Ai Ling by making her suddenly weak and stupid And yes I'm going to spoiler tag the restview spoiler Throughout the story Ai Ling is courageous in both physical and emotional situations She holds together despite threatened slavery and sexual assault and manages to brave through the loss of Li Rong despite a bit of temporary denial Further she has a stunning example of a successful love match in her parents Chen Yong even says how he sees the power of a marriage with love at its heart in his own parents So she can't own up to her feelings towards him why She's flouted tradition in every conceivable way regarding marriage I see no reason she wouldn't just tell him she loves him Heck the narrative through line regarding her gift practically begs her to do so without first ascertaining his feelings towards her Talk about an ultimate culmination of her determination to do right with it But no Pon has to save that for a seuel for no other reason than that she wants to save it for a seuel Ask yourself this if there hadn't been the prospect of a seuel would that ending have held up at all No Two people who love and trust each other I'm taking Chen Yong's love for granted here I think not without cause and are further pretty much unmarriageable to anybody else due to cultural circumstances beyond their control should have marriage to each other practically screaming at them from both internal and external sources Heck Ai Ling's own parents seem to be in on her feelings perfectly well and if nobody else suggests it they should have Gah hide spoiler

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REVIEW Silver Phoenix 107 ´ [Download] ✤ Silver Phoenix Author Cindy Pon – Ai Ling can see into other people's minds and reach into their spirits But she doesn't know why this power has awakened inside her She only knows that it is growing It leads her on an epic journey—o Ai Ling can see into other people's minds and reach into theiR on an epic journey one that brings her to the edge of the deepest evilChen Yong has a uest of his own but then his path crosses Ai Ling's And there's a connection so strong t. Okthe back copy of SILVER PHOENIX references Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which is one of my favorite movies of all timeso I had extremely high hopes for this one And Cindy Pon delivers Ai Ling is an amazing character I can't decide which I want to do be her BFF or hire her to be my bitchin' bodyguard There's a perfectly vile villain and a rich wonderfully built world that sucks you in And can we talk about Chen Yong And how much I love him He's hawt And tough Which happens to be exactly how I like my action heroes This is one book you can judge by its cover Fricken Awesome