by Cindy Pon
# of pages: 352
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.
I had heard a lot about this book so I was admittitadly excited to read it, though I must say it was not entirely what I expected. For whatever reason, I found myself taking far to long to read the book, possibly because I've been so busy, or for other reasons. The book did not drag on, exactly it just was very long.
The beginning picked up quick, and Immediately I was aware of Ai Ling's power, but it wasn't very clear on whether Ai Ling understood it or not. The adventure soon continues and soon Every chapter readers are introduced to a new monster that Ai Ling and her friends must defeat.
There did not seem to be an exact climax of the book, readers find out Ai Ling's mission but I did not feel like that mission was the whole focus of the book. It came and went, and in the end I was left waiting for the huge scene to happen...only it didn't.
This brings me to the end of the novel, I didn't like it. Chen Yong was introduced as the possible romantic lead but I was never really clear on his feelings toward Ai Ling. I was expecting some dramatic ending but was not awarded with such, I still felt like there were some loose ends. Sequel perhaps? It's possible but honestly I don't know.
If you're reading this thinking I hated the book, that's not exactly true, I just didn't love it. The writing was admittedly good, and the plot was original, but It just wast really working for me.
But if you are a big fantasy buff this is definitely recommended. Anyways, if you liked this novel be sure to check out:
Graceling: Kristen Cashore
Ever: Gail Carson Levine
Legacy: Cayla Kluver
Poison Study: Maria V. Snyder
Storm Glass: Maria V. Snyder
Impossible: Nancy Werlin
If you liked this book be sure to buy it here
Check out author Cindy Pon here