Goodreads Summary: "No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.
But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.
Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.
It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more."
You may have realized by now that I had a thing for stubborn, head-strong female leads and Ai Ling is exactly that. I also love it when a character begins questioning the world around them, the place where they are comfortable and belong as dictated by society. I love rebels. And Chen Yong can only be described as the strong, silent type. Or tall, dark, and handsome. He was a great counterpart to Ai Ling and I loved watching the friendship develop between the two of them.
I was positively captivated by the mythology in this book; there so many familiar myths intertwined with ones I had not heard of previously and together they formed such a solid foundation for the story as a whole.Also the romance was very well done. I know a lot of YA books turn people off because of their heavy romance, usually as the main theme of the story but that isn't the case here. It is as if there is a plot cake with a little romance sprinkled over it. Just enough to make you crave more.
Silver Phoenix was a beautifully written book. I almost finished the entire novel in a single sitting and would have if I hadn't had a previous engagement. I've already added the sequel to my wishlist and will definitely be picking up a copy when I can to see what comes next for Ai Ling and Chen Yong.