Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao | Book Review

 


Hello, here I’m sharing another book review with you. Yes, this is another ARC I received this week. I’m excited for sharing my impression and feelings about this book here. This a new YA fantasy duology which is inspired by Chinese mythology and I’m glad to get the chance to read the ARC for the UK edition which will be released on February 2 (my birthdayyy!!). The US edition has been released in the first week of January, so I think some people have already read this book, so please share your reading experience here below too!

 

Goodreads rating             : 4.29

My rating                         : 4.50

Length                              : 380 pages

Book type                         : novel, first book in a duology

Series                                : Song of the Last Kingdom

Keywords                         : young adult, fantasy, chinese mythology inspired, romance, adventure,

                                           demons, magic school, rebellion 

Trigger warnings               : blood, death, death of parents, violence, kidnapping, gaslighting, war,

                                             racism, panic attack, losing control of oneself, torture, sexual assault,

                                             human trafficking, colonialism, injury details, child abuse, murder, grief,

                                             self harm, cannibalism (mentioned), genocide (mentioned)

 

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night  by Amélie Wen Zhao | Book Review

When I first got the ARC for Song of Silver, Flame Like Night, I kept my expectations low, since I have met other books with beautiful book title and cover which didn’t live up to my expectations. I decided to read this book since I’m a person who is attracted towards beautiful cover and title. The title is intriguing enough for me (as someone who is a stranger to Chinese mythology), like what kind of song a silver could make and how the flame appears to resemble a night. The title creates the vision of yin and yang in my mind, where the silver is the white part and the night is the black part. So I decided it’s gonna be an interesting book to read.

 

BLURB

In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past—and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.

Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors,  and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.

No one can see the mysterious mark—an untranslatable Hin character—except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life.

Zen is a practitioner—one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumored to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.

When Zen comes across Lan’s unusual qi, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it—but he knows: if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.

Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.

 

 

I got an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from Netgalley and HarperCollins UK of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night. The reviews I’ve posted here are mine and purely based on my reading experience.

 

BOOK REVIEW

It's a perfect book for Daughter of the Moon Goddess fans and those who love reading books inspired by Chinese mythology. Song of Silver, Flame like Night is YA fantasy (and a little bit romance) book which absorbs every reader to its world and holds their attention until the very last words. Told in multiple POVs, mainly our main characters Lan and Zen, the author gives them balanced portion of pages to tell their stories with distinctive voices. You can easily know which one is Lan's and Zen's since the two spoke differently. Through the two main characters of the book, we are able to see the world and what really happened there. The multiple POVs successfully add more depth to the story and how it’s viewed through each of the main characters even though I’m not really into the parts where one character was left wondering what happened when the readers already knew everything from another character.

Honestly this is a little bit difficult to follow at first since it used new terms like Last Kingdom, Elantians, some characters and places, but it gets easier as we get deeper into the book. Some explanations were longer than the others especially about the magic system and world building related ones, yet since it's given to the right character to 'explain', it's an okay for me. I usually get bored with long explanations and facts about how the world works and what happened in the history since it needs more energy to remember all of them, but this book told everything slowly and I found it easy to hold the information provided here. I even gave a nickname for one character who had all the facts and provided us with the info as the walking-tomes since it’s suited the characters well.

For the romance part, as a reader who prefer less romance part in a fantasy book, this book has the right amount of romance I need in a book even though it needs a little bit more pages to show the chemistry between the two main characters.

Continuity and consistency are the heart of this book. We can’t miss a single conversations or words spoken by a character and forget them since those are the ones which influenced how the main characters made their decisions and lead them to their chosen path. This is not only the information and other serious stuff, but also the jokes. You can find the characters reliving the same jokes over and over again in the right time.

I love how Book 1 ended especially the last chapter and epilogue which showed the readers what to expect within the next book.

 

WHAT I LIKE

🏔 The stunning cover of the UK edition is my most favorite cover so far. It has the four demon gods from Chinese mythology and using more saturated colors which is my preference for a fantasy book cover.

🏔 The title itself holds special place in my heart since I’m a person who is into beautifully titled book. Song of Silver, Flame Like Night is really a beautiful title.

🏔 Balanced-portion for both main characters and how they introduced themselves to the readers

🏔 Mysterious two main characters who will uncover their own secrets throughout the journey (even though the revelation about one of our MCs was something I have expected)

🏔 Chinese mythology aspect

🏔 Beautiful narration about nature and feelings

🏔 The romance portion is just right for me

🏔 Fast-paced book which holds the readers’ attention until the end

🏔 The ending for Book 1 is the type of ending I live for

🏔 The hidden magic school 

🏔 The magic system

🏔 The beautiful map in the beginning of the book

🏔 Mysterious seals and past to uncover through an adventure

🏔 Strangers helping each other in the midst of war

 

WHAT I THINK IT COULD BE BETTER NEXT

🏔 The enemy side didn’t get more depth so they appeared to be just evil and one dimensional

🏔 The chemistry for the two main characters need more pages to show the readers how their feelings towards each other and how it grows

 

YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK IF YOU

🏔 Want to read a Chinese mythology inspired book with less portion of romance

🏔 Don’t want to be committed to a long series since it’s a duology

🏔 Love a YA fantasy with multiple POV

🏔 Want to plunge into a world where Four Demon Gods existed and the war was everywhere

🏔 Love reading book and witnessing how the characters developed

🏔 Love a book with beautiful book and cover

 

LINKS YOU MIGHT NEED

My reading thread on twitter

My review on Storygraph

My review on Goodreads

 

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