2021 is already more than 3/4 over, which sounds like fake news even though it isn’t. I’m trying my best to juggle my various responsibilities, and even though I was wary of overloading myself, I simply had to sign up for the blog tour for Jade Fire Gold. This tour is hosted by Caffeine Book Tours, and you can find more details about it on the CBT website.
Title: Jade Fire Gold
Author: June CL Tan
US Cover: GUWEIZ
UK Cover: Aaron Munday
Publication date: 12 October 2021
Age group: Young Adult
Girls of Paper and Fire meets The Tiger at Midnight in June CL Tan’s stunning debut, inspired by Chinese mythology, with rich magic and an epic slow-burn romance.
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 arcane magical abilities.
But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.
Ferocious action, shadowy intrigue, and a captivating romance collide in June CL Tan’s debut, a stunning homage to the Xianxia novel with a tender, beating heart, perfect for fans of The Bone Witch and We Hunt the Flame.
- POC (Chinese-coded characters)
- LGBTQ+ (Sapphic, gay)
Trigger and Content Warnings
- self-harm (gouging, eye horror; non-graphic)
- child abuse (physical, verbal, emotional manipulation/gaslighting)
- parent death (implied, off-page)
- character deaths
- mentions and descriptions of fantasy/magical violence (blood, war, political violence)
- mentions and descriptions of physical symptoms that might be triggering to those with emetophobia
- alcohol consumption
Note: I received a review copy of Jade Fire Gold as part of my participation in this tour in exchange for an honest review.
Jade Fire Gold was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and I’m happy to say that I had a great time with this xianxia inspired fantasy. I haven’t read a fantasy novel that’s this many pages in a long time, but I never got bored. There were many things to love about it.
First, I love that this story plays with familiar tropes from Western fantasy and Chinese xianxia. The Chinese-inspired setting was easy for me to immerse myself in as someone who grew up on a steady diet of period cdramas. It was fun to see how June tweaked and repurposed cultural elements that resonated with my experiences. For those who aren’t acquainted with them, she provides ample scaffolding to bring this world to life with poetically drawn descriptions.
Epic fantasy vibes aside, what really kept me invested in the story was the characters. The two main leads, Ahn and Altan, each have their own traumas and desires, and a cruel twist of fate brings them together for a life-or-death mission. I found myself questioning what choices and sacrifices they would make to reach their goals, and whether they’d succumb to their inner darkness.
At first, the romance between Ahn and Altan felt a little too insta-attraction-y for my tastes, but it gradually developed enough that I started genuinely rooting for them and dreading the star-crossed lovers trajectory of their relationship. Slow-burn enemies-to-lovers fans: this one’s for you.
I also really loved many of the supporting characters, particularly the four of who are explicitly queer (including a f/f pairing). The story really built up their personalities and backgrounds as their lives converged with Ahn’s and Altan’s, with some interesting twists thrown in. I was distraught any time it seemed like one of them was going to get hurt, or actually did get hurt. I would totally be down to read companion stories about any of them.
Although the conflict in this book gets resolved enough that it could stand alone, the epilogue of the story creates a clear jumping off point for a sequel. I’m guessing the publisher hasn’t committed to one yet until Jade Fire Gold succeeds, but I hope it happens since I am 👀👀👀 at the revelation in the epilogue. Fingers crossed and please check this book out to help make that book 2 a reality.
Also, as usual, stay tuned for my blog tour bonus content in a separate post. 🙂
Book links (note: you are free to use your own affiliate links or to other booksellers):
- Amazon — https://amzn.to/39xFL6T
- Barnes & Noble — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jade-fire-gold-june-cl-tan/1138598416
- Bookshop — https://bookshop.org/books/jade-fire-gold-9780063056367/9780063056367
- Books-A-Million — https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Jade-Fire-Gold/June-C-Tan/9780063056367
- IndieBound — https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780063056367
- Indigo — https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/jade-fire-gold/9780063056367-item.html
- Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56645963-jade-fire-gold
- Kinokuniya US — https://united-states.kinokuniya.com/bw/9780063056367
- Waterstones — https://www.waterstones.com/book/jade-fire-gold/june-cl-tan/9781529370553
About the Author
June CL Tan grew up in Singapore where she was raised on a diet of classic books and wuxia movies, caffeine and congee. She holds various degrees in communication studies, education, and film. After teaching for a few years, she took a detour into the finance industry. To no one’s surprise, she soon realized her mistake and made her escape. Now, she resides in New York City, talking to imaginary people and creating fantastical worlds under the watchful eye of her crafty cat. She enjoys telling stories that draw on both the traditional and modern to create something fresh to the eye, but familiar to the heart. Jade Fire Gold is her debut novel.
- Author website — https://www.junecltan.com/
- Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17899194.June_C_L_Tan
- Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/junescribbles/
- Twitter — https://twitter.com/junescribbles
- TikTok — https://www.tiktok.com/@junescribbles