This is a book that I was very much looking forward to reading last year, so I’m glad that I’m getting the chance to share my thoughts with you now.
Jade Fire Gold
June CL Tan
Her destiny. His revenge.
In an empire on the brink of war . . .
Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.
Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.
When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her lethal magical abilities.
But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.
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This is the kind of book that I didn’t want to put down, full of magic, secrets, and adventure, and it made for such an enjoyable read.
There was a lot to love in this book, the world-building was fantastic, I loved the contrast in the different settings and how this affects the characters. The mythology within the story was amazing, I won’t say too much, but I loved how the history changed depending on who told it and how it became shaped by people in every retelling. The magic in the book was really interesting, the fact that it had to be hidden in some places but was more welcomed in others added a wonderful dynamic to the story, especially as Ahn struggles to control her abilities.
Whilst the writing was engaging and easily sucked me in, the pacing was not quite right in places, I do think there were possibly some middle sections that could have been shortened and more time spent on the ending. I feel like the story built to a super exciting point but then started to feel rushed, it kind of awkwardly jumped through the last sections and there wasn’t a flow to keep that excitement up, this didn’t stop my enjoyment it just left me a little deflated at the end.
The characters were great, I didn’t know how to read Altan at first and I enjoyed seeing him develop as he came up against different obstacles on his journey, Ahn is great from the start, a bit of a mystery even to herself but loving and loyal. I enjoyed their chemistry but I’m not sure I was entirely sold on their relationship, it was very slow burn which I enjoyed because nobody knows who to trust at a lot of points in the story which is always fun, I can’t put my finger on it but I feel like there was something missing.
The other characters in the story were also interesting, I am particularly intrigued by Tai Shun and Leiye and wish I got to know more about these two characters especially but I am hoping that since the ending was left a little bit open that this is maybe going to be explored in another book. Wishful thinking perhaps but I would gladly read more about all of these characters and how their world further evolves after the events of this story.
A brilliant debut and I am looking forward to seeing what wonderful worlds this author takes me to next.