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Jade Fire Gold

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Jade Fire Gold

  1. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    excuse me did this just mention Avatar: The Last Airbender in the same breath as "peasant girl teams up with exiled prince"??????? be still my Zutara heart HI HELLO THAT COVER HAS STOLEN MY HEART I NEED THIS BOOK ASAP excuse me did this just mention Avatar: The Last Airbender in the same breath as "peasant girl teams up with exiled prince"??????? be still my Zutara heart HI HELLO THAT COVER HAS STOLEN MY HEART I NEED THIS BOOK ASAP

  2. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i had a lot of fun with this one! is it the most original book out there? no, probably not. but fans of reliable fantasy tropes should enjoy this. i know i did. i really appreciate how this introduced me to xianxia. ive read books in the genre before, but i had no idea that chinese fantasy stories inspired by chinese mythology, medicine, and martial arts had a name. this isnt as graphic or severe as ‘the poppy war,’ but there are a lot of elements in this that kept reminding me of that. i also l i had a lot of fun with this one! is it the most original book out there? no, probably not. but fans of reliable fantasy tropes should enjoy this. i know i did. i really appreciate how this introduced me to xianxia. ive read books in the genre before, but i had no idea that chinese fantasy stories inspired by chinese mythology, medicine, and martial arts had a name. this isnt as graphic or severe as ‘the poppy war,’ but there are a lot of elements in this that kept reminding me of that. i also liked that the ahn and altan were able to stand well on their own and had their own interesting journeys, but i thought they especially lit up the page when they were together. the side characters also provide amazing support and are very likeable, so much so that i wanted more of them and wished this has been written with more than two POVs. overall, a very exciting debut and, although theres nothing to confirm this, the epilogue definitely suggests a sequel is coming. so i will be keeping my eyes open for that! ↠ 3.5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    if I don’t like this I Swear this is going to be my villain origin story update: well….. this aged poorly rtc // buddy read with rain!!! if I don’t like this I Swear this is going to be my villain origin story update: well….. this aged poorly rtc // buddy read with rain!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    June Tan

    JADE FIRE GOLD is a story born from the confluence of culture and diaspora nostalgia. Much of it is driven by my own experience and inner struggle with traditional beliefs in Chinese culture and Confucian tenets such as filial piety, honor, sacrificing for the greater good vs having a healthy sense of individualism. The story is also heavily influenced by tropes and elements found in wuxia (martial arts heroes) and xianxia (immortal heroes) stories/films/television shows, and the cultural mythol JADE FIRE GOLD is a story born from the confluence of culture and diaspora nostalgia. Much of it is driven by my own experience and inner struggle with traditional beliefs in Chinese culture and Confucian tenets such as filial piety, honor, sacrificing for the greater good vs having a healthy sense of individualism. The story is also heavily influenced by tropes and elements found in wuxia (martial arts heroes) and xianxia (immortal heroes) stories/films/television shows, and the cultural mythology I grew up with in Singapore. As someone who was raised in a former colony, I also wanted to explore the genesis of what we call “history”: how it may be twisted by colonizers and victors and how it could be rewritten to suit the purpose of oppressors and those in power. But at the core of this story is the concept of family and all its joys and burdens and expectations, and about finding one's place in the world and striking a balance between an individual sense of self, and the weight of familial legacy and obligation. The story also deals with the discussion and repercussions of war, and while none are particularly graphic, please note the content warnings below. CONTENT WARNINGS self-harm (gouging/eye horror; non-graphic) child abuse (physical, verbal, emotional manipulation/gaslighting) parent death (implied and 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 *this list will be updated as necessary Preorder campaign details + form to claim your swag HERE. Have a look at some character art! For updates, follow me on twitter and instagram (@junescribbles) or sign up for my newsletter.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cait (Caitsbooks)

    If you like: - Avatar the Last Airbender (specifically zutara) - "I have to kill you" trope - chosen one trope - elemental magic - Chinese mythology - slowburn romance - betrayal & never knowing who you can trust then you need to pick up this book! Jade Fire Gold was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year, and it lived up to all of my expectations. This book is absolutely addictive. The pacing is fast, with constant action and intrigue, and fantastic twists. You never quite know who to trust, but d If you like: - Avatar the Last Airbender (specifically zutara) - "I have to kill you" trope - chosen one trope - elemental magic - Chinese mythology - slowburn romance - betrayal & never knowing who you can trust then you need to pick up this book! Jade Fire Gold was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year, and it lived up to all of my expectations. This book is absolutely addictive. The pacing is fast, with constant action and intrigue, and fantastic twists. You never quite know who to trust, but despite that, I still became obsessed with almost every single character in this book. Seriously, the characters are just so good. Even the villains. Altan and Ahn are going on my list of favorite protagonists (especially Altan because "angsty oblivious prince who wants revenge" is in fact my favorite type of fictional character). And the side characters? I love them all so much. I would read a book about any of them (please give me more books so I can read more about them) Also, how am I supposed to move on after that ending??? 5/5 stars. Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC!

  6. 5 out of 5

    hiba

    cws: list provided by author here rep: chinese-coded cast + world, f/f side relationship, mlm minor character i might have enjoyed this more if i went in with lower expectations but oh well. the premise is really intriguing: a peasant girl with ancient magic and a lost prince trying to reclaim his throne meet and upturn a world on the brink of war. unfortunately, the execution didn't quite live up to the mark for me. first a few positives: the writing was pretty good for a debut YA author and made f cws: list provided by author here rep: chinese-coded cast + world, f/f side relationship, mlm minor character i might have enjoyed this more if i went in with lower expectations but oh well. the premise is really intriguing: a peasant girl with ancient magic and a lost prince trying to reclaim his throne meet and upturn a world on the brink of war. unfortunately, the execution didn't quite live up to the mark for me. first a few positives: the writing was pretty good for a debut YA author and made for an easy read. i liked the worldbuilding too, i think it had a lot of potential and the occasional inserts of chinese folklore were cool to see. my major issues with this book are the characters, the plot/pacing and the romance. i didn't care for the main characters at all - they just felt so generic and needed more depth. ahn was a bit too passive for me, it felt like she was just going along with the flow of things instead of driving the action forward herself. altan mostly bored me to be honest, his internal conflict regarding the life stealer didn't ring true to me and felt like angst just for the sake of it. the side characters were interesting, especially leiye and tang wei, but we simply didn't see enough of them. the romance was super frustrating to read - it was way too rushed and poorly developed. ahn and altan genuinely had no chemistry and their connection left me cold. the pacing was also fairly uneven - especially in the last 15%. what was supposed to be the most exciting part of the novel was hindered by frequent time jumps that made no sense to me. the climax itself was weak and resolved too quickly, i think the action should have been drawn out more. overall, it's a pretty basic, formulaic YA fantasy which isn't necessarily a bad thing! i do think this will be an enjoyable read for a lot of people, particularly those who are new to the fantasy/xianxia genre. unfortunately, i think i'm too jaded for these kinds of stories now. thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    zia

    edit(062121): 3.5 rounded up. i am finally stable enough to objectively rate this book. — Jade Fire Gold is nothing short of being wonderful. This is everything I wanted wrapped in a single book. For a fantasy book, this was honestly easy to read while being lyrical at the same time. Tan did a wonderful job putting into words the adventures of these characters and their portrayals. The start of the book felt hazy as most fantasy books are but you can easily grasp what is going on at the 20% mark. I edit(062121): 3.5 rounded up. i am finally stable enough to objectively rate this book. — Jade Fire Gold is nothing short of being wonderful. This is everything I wanted wrapped in a single book. For a fantasy book, this was honestly easy to read while being lyrical at the same time. Tan did a wonderful job putting into words the adventures of these characters and their portrayals. The start of the book felt hazy as most fantasy books are but you can easily grasp what is going on at the 20% mark. It made me engage more with what is happening in the book. The plot was honestly good, kept me wanting to unveil further until the final twist. The main protagonist, Ahn, is a peasant girl who would do anything to protect her grandmother. Reading the way her character grew from being an oblivious girl to being someone who holds onto her power was such a roller-coaster ride. She was such a likable character. There were times her decisions were questionable but the fact that she is only sixteen can excuse those. Altan, on the other hand, is an exiled prince out for vengeance. The resemblance between him and Zuko (from ATLA) is uncanny. Both have gone through a lot in order to get what is rightfully theirs. There were times Ahn and Altan’s morality was tested, and I liked that they anchor each other during those times. Even the side characters—Tang Wei, Linxi, Leiye, and Tai Shun—were likeable. Each of them was important in the story as their paths tangled with the protagonists. Their relationship as a whole could further develop into becoming a found family. There is one shortcoming: the climax was weak. There’s a lot of black-out scenes and time jumps that I didn’t feel the full impact of the final action. I was used to reading detailed actions in fantasy, hence, this part in the book was a letdown. Objectively, I should be rating this 4 stars but the characters made up for the flaws in this. Readers will easily fall in love with these imperfect characters who would do everything for the people they love. There’s a lot of potential in them that would be interesting to further explore on the next books. Lastly, how can June Cl Tan expect me to sit still after that ending?

  8. 5 out of 5

    katie ❀

    i was never really into m/f romances anyway, short rtc

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joan He

    a sweeping epic with so much heart and drool-worthy characters. in one word? this book is scrumptious

  10. 5 out of 5

    Althea ☾

    I’m ngl getting ARCs in the middle of my reading slumps stresses me out a little bit but since they’re my anticipated releases, I NEED to make time before october 😭 *Thank you to the publisher —Hodder Books— for sending me an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* ——————— update 2: WE HAVE A COVER!! and its BEAUTIFUL!! update: we have a pub date (Oct 21 2021) T_T did you say dark katara teaming up with zuko?? inspired by east asian mythology?? and I have to wait a whole year for it?? I’m ngl getting ARCs in the middle of my reading slumps stresses me out a little bit but since they’re my anticipated releases, I NEED to make time before october 😭 *Thank you to the publisher —Hodder Books— for sending me an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* ——————— update 2: WE HAVE A COVER!! and its BEAUTIFUL!! update: we have a pub date (Oct 21 2021) T_T did you say dark katara teaming up with zuko?? inspired by east asian mythology?? and I have to wait a whole year for it?? excuse me, i need some space to breath

  11. 5 out of 5

    cossette

    holy. fucking. shit. review to come after i've collected my thoughts + closer to pub date. holy. fucking. shit. review to come after i've collected my thoughts + closer to pub date.

  12. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    I wanted so badly to love this but, unfortunately, Jade Fire Gold missed its mark for me. - Follows Ahn, a girl of a village in the fringes who may possess an extraordinary power, and Altan, a boy and lost heir to the throne, hellbent on getting revenge. The story follows the two in alternating perspectives as their destinies collide and intertwine with one another. - The first third of this book is so good and I had such high hopes - there were so many intriguing worldbuilding ideas (magic in th I wanted so badly to love this but, unfortunately, Jade Fire Gold missed its mark for me. - Follows Ahn, a girl of a village in the fringes who may possess an extraordinary power, and Altan, a boy and lost heir to the throne, hellbent on getting revenge. The story follows the two in alternating perspectives as their destinies collide and intertwine with one another. - The first third of this book is so good and I had such high hopes - there were so many intriguing worldbuilding ideas (magic in the land being tied to the Mandate of Heaven philosophy! YES!), the character arcs are strong and their motivations set them on a great course for the story. The story was poised to take risk and traverse to unchartered territory, but then, the story... just didn't. - The story moved away from the original and interesting things, and fell back on clichés and a focus on the romantic tension and conflict between Ahn and Altan. - The book didn't work for me because the story hinges a lot on the dynamic between Ahn and Altan - and unfortunately the dynamic fell really flat for me and failed to engage me. - I'm really sad this didn't work for me. I think the writing is great, so I'm interested to read whatever Tan writes next, but unfortunately Jade Fire Gold was not for me. Content warning: can be found here. I received a digital advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    gauri

    i had low expectations when i started reading and suffice to say it lived up to that. the pitch is stunning, atla being one of my favourite shows, i was excited to see 'what if katara were the dark avatar & zuko was hunting her down in an empire on the brink of war?’ but the execution is done poorly. —it starts off really well, i liked the character motivations introduced initially and the easy pacing in the first 1/3 or half of the book —the writing is fairly simple to follow and the worldbuilding i had low expectations when i started reading and suffice to say it lived up to that. the pitch is stunning, atla being one of my favourite shows, i was excited to see 'what if katara were the dark avatar & zuko was hunting her down in an empire on the brink of war?’ but the execution is done poorly. —it starts off really well, i liked the character motivations introduced initially and the easy pacing in the first 1/3 or half of the book —the writing is fairly simple to follow and the worldbuilding inspired by chinese myth/folklore is imbedded pretty well. the descriptions of the different settings and locations were spot on —i love the side characters, tang wei, tai shun, leiye, and the relationships they have between themselves and the protagonists. —then the pacing starts to stumble and i lose interest in both ahn and altan because their thoughts seem to feel repetitive and i couldn't care less. i wouldn't have minded if the book went on a little longer if it meant giving a satisfying climax to the buildup rather than finishing it all off in a couple chapters. is it a standalone? or a series? especially with the ending, i'm confused here. —the so called romance felt very bland, no tension no angst of supposedly being "enemies" so yeah —i also didn't feel the urgency of a country being at war with others?? the political intrigue was just dumped and not handled with depth overall, jade fire gold can be an interesting and enjoyable debut ya fantasy, if you're looking for a simple one but its simply not for me. thank you harper collins and netgalley for the arc!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽♔

    I was already looking forward to this, but now it just added AVATAR: The Last Airbender to it's pitch. The anticipation has now reached new heights. Plus with that blurb, as another reviewer (Tabi 😏) mentioned, possible ZUTARA vibes? Hell yes! Don't let me down book! I was already looking forward to this, but now it just added AVATAR: The Last Airbender to it's pitch. The anticipation has now reached new heights. Plus with that blurb, as another reviewer (Tabi 😏) mentioned, possible ZUTARA vibes? Hell yes! Don't let me down book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    ness

    2.5★ jade fire gold promises an unforgettable adventure weaving together elements of forbidden magic, enemies-to-lovers zutara-style romance, and enchanting chinese folklore. once again, a disappointing new highly anticipated release :/ this book was barely enjoyable until the ending at the 80% mark or so, and even then it didn't deliver like it should've. i didn't care for the characters; they felt generic and surface-level, almost forced to fit in the vessel that the author portrayed for them 2.5★ jade fire gold promises an unforgettable adventure weaving together elements of forbidden magic, enemies-to-lovers zutara-style romance, and enchanting chinese folklore. once again, a disappointing new highly anticipated release :/ this book was barely enjoyable until the ending at the 80% mark or so, and even then it didn't deliver like it should've. i didn't care for the characters; they felt generic and surface-level, almost forced to fit in the vessel that the author portrayed for them—if that makes sense. we spend most of the book building up for the plot, in painfully dragging pace, for conflicts that felt irrelevant and detached. and they get resolved in a less than satisfying way, which left me feeling deflated. this could be because of my indifference to the characters and the unconvincing stakes, but i also find the execution of the grand pitches that were made for this book very poor. however, i enjoyed the writing and the world-building laced with chinese folklore. (i have seen ownvoices reviewers comment on the rep, but i can't speak on that myself.) content warning: 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. — as listed by the author here. — thank you to harper collins for providing me with the digital arc via netgalley and edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Rep: Chinese coded cast & setting, sapphic side characters, achillean side character CWs: implied torture, violence, blood, gore, death of a parent Galley provided by publisher Jade Fire Gold was, above all, a fun read. In the past couple of years, or so, I’ve struggled to get along with YA fantasy, finding it alternatively with not enough worldbuilding, or dragging too much in the middle section. I didn’t have either of those issues here. The story follows two narratives: Altan, the On my blog. Rep: Chinese coded cast & setting, sapphic side characters, achillean side character CWs: implied torture, violence, blood, gore, death of a parent Galley provided by publisher Jade Fire Gold was, above all, a fun read. In the past couple of years, or so, I’ve struggled to get along with YA fantasy, finding it alternatively with not enough worldbuilding, or dragging too much in the middle section. I didn’t have either of those issues here. The story follows two narratives: Altan, the rightful heir to the throne, alone and, honestly, somewhat bitter, looking to get revenge on the family members who wronged him (and also searching for a way to avoid death at the hands of his foe), and Ahn, struggling with money to look after her grandmother and fearful of her life in an empire that doesn’t look kindly on magic. Their paths cross and, for the avoidance of spoilers, Things Happen. Firstly, what I liked about this book was the fact that there’s a lot of action, but at the same time, there’s sufficient worldbuilding that you don’t feel like everything’s left to the imagination. And it’s all woven together effectively in the narrative. Okay, so maybe I did, from time to time, want the worldbuilding to go a bit more in depth, but that was, overall, well-judged and well-integrated into the story. There weren’t massive and pointless info-dumps. And the action meant that it was a fun read. It helps, too, that the characters were great. Altan feels at the start a little like he might turn out to be broody and mean, especially to Ahn, and overly focused on vengeance over all else, but it was all put together in such a way that I didn’t really mind it. Mostly because there was some definite character development happening (and also, I suppose, that his narrative isn’t self-loathing). And it’s offset by Ahn, who has to be among my favourite YA protagonists. She’s just a lot of fun to read about, and her journey and development is the best in the book. I think the reason I gave this 4 stars, not 5, is because, sometimes, the plot seems quite coincidental. Things happen just when they need to, they find out what they have to at the right points. I mean, to an extent, that has to happen in books, sure, but it was a little… heavy-handed, I suppose (in the nicest way possible, because that doesn’t sound a nice way of saying it, I realise). I think the other part of that is that this is a debut. Of course it’s not going to be perfect off the bat. But there’s so much to like in Jade Fire Gold and I cannot wait to see what June Tan does next. Although I would, if possible, prefer it to be a sequel to this, after that ending. Please, June?

  17. 5 out of 5

    ~ a foray in fantasy ~

    An excellent debut! I loved the characters and plot, I just didn’t feel completely engaged in the story. The setting is described beautifully— the premise of the story is what initially drew me to it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    cherelle (aboltoutofthebook)

    ok i may be inherently biased because jade fire gold is by a singaporean author but !!! it was dramatic, it was atmospheric and the chinese mythology !!! Read my full review of Jade Fire Gold here! Thank you to Caffeine Tours for providing me an ARC of Jade Fire Gold for a sincere review as part of a blog tour! 3.5 stars // RTC ok i may be inherently biased because jade fire gold is by a singaporean author but !!! it was dramatic, it was atmospheric and the chinese mythology !!! Read my full review of Jade Fire Gold here! Thank you to Caffeine Tours for providing me an ARC of Jade Fire Gold for a sincere review as part of a blog tour! 3.5 stars // RTC

  19. 4 out of 5

    — Massiel [taking a break]

    First Chinese mythology I'm gonna read and I'M SCREAMING First Chinese mythology I'm gonna read and I'M SCREAMING

  20. 5 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    Jade Fire Gold was one of my most anticipated releases this year, and it did alright. I was expecting a bit more from it, but I'm not disappointed. I liked almost all the characters, main and side. They were fun to follow, and the author did a good job making each of them distinct. Ahn and Altan were adorable together, I shipped them from their very first meeting. This is how you write slow burn. The pacing was good, up until the final third (which was supposed to be the most exciting). It slowed Jade Fire Gold was one of my most anticipated releases this year, and it did alright. I was expecting a bit more from it, but I'm not disappointed. I liked almost all the characters, main and side. They were fun to follow, and the author did a good job making each of them distinct. Ahn and Altan were adorable together, I shipped them from their very first meeting. This is how you write slow burn. The pacing was good, up until the final third (which was supposed to be the most exciting). It slowed down, and the random time jumps increased. The jumps didn't make it confusing, but it did feel incomplete. Sort of how, when you're writing something and you didn't plan a scene out fully so you just do a time skip to move on, with the intention of going back and adding more before the final draft...yeah, that's missing. The story would've benefited from more details in those parts, but it's not bad as is. It's easy to follow, and I liked the writing style too. All together, it's a decent debut. I don't have overly strong feelings about it, or much to say, but I might reread it in the future. 3.5 stars *Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yeganeh(Taylor's version)

    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 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 c-dramas. 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. I liked both Ahn and Altan as characters. I did like Ahn a little more. I know that Altan had lost a lot, but his attitude put me off him sometimes. I loved their banter. It was a lot of fun. Also the fact in one scene they’re arguing then Altan is jumping straight into a fight with enemies. He was definitely always prepared. ~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. But with the ending, I’m now unsure. If it is standalone then it still could’ve done with some work. I’d liked to have seen more of them falling in love rather than suddenly being told by a character, ah yeah, he loves her. It seemed a little odd. Especially considering his feelings about the Life Stealer. But their banter was great so at least they did have chemistry. credit ~Not only did I love our main protagonists,but even the supporting characters were also unforgettable. Tang Wei is Atlan’s closest confidant and skilled with her weapons. Their banter and not-so seriously rivalry were brilliant. Linxi is a spy planted in the courts and becomes a great source of friendship for Ahn when she desperately needs it. Leiye is Ahn’s mysterious savior and Altan’s old friend. There is so much detail that Tan incorporates so well into her words. A beautiful world inspired by Chinese mythology, from deserts to mountains, villages to palaces, the expanse from just this novel alone makes me really excited to see how the series will continue ~The ending also felt a little fast and anti-climatic. Whenever I read this book, I was getting through it so quickly. Yet, that final battle seemed too quick. There was all this story and build-up, and then the big realisation basically ends the battle in a chapter. I would have liked to see a little more. More of Ahn’s training too. But again, something made up for this . Everything comes with a price and your choice will be paid in blood. ⋘ ─── ∗ ⋅◈⋅ ∗ ─── ∗ ⋅◈⋅ ∗ ─── ⋙ 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. Overall I was just so swept away with Jade Fire Gold. Was it perfect? No, but I also know that it’s a debut novel. I’m so excited to see what June CL Tan will write in the future because I’m pretty certain she’s going to become a fan favorite. If you allow yourselves to sink into the story and the characters journey’s, you just might be too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    aashvi

    without a doubt, jade fire gold was an amazing read. the author did such a good job creating gorgeous characters and an even better world. it is slow paced but the impeccable world-building kept me engaged at all times. and did i mention the stunning writing in this book? absolutely INCREDIBLE. the characters were also developed pretty well. special shoutout to my girl tang wei, AN ABSOLUTE QUEEN. i loved the plot and i got the hang of the world pretty quickly; there's also a glossary at the end without a doubt, jade fire gold was an amazing read. the author did such a good job creating gorgeous characters and an even better world. it is slow paced but the impeccable world-building kept me engaged at all times. and did i mention the stunning writing in this book? absolutely INCREDIBLE. the characters were also developed pretty well. special shoutout to my girl tang wei, AN ABSOLUTE QUEEN. i loved the plot and i got the hang of the world pretty quickly; there's also a glossary at the end which helps. also, the first half of the book gave me STRONG Shadow and Bone vibes so if you liked that you should try reading this!! HOWEVERRR, the romance fell flat for me. the feelings between the protagonists felt rushed and undeveloped. as much as i hate to say it, it almost felt like insta love. i also went into the book knowing that the male mc wants to kill the female mc (this is not a spoiler, it's on the author's website, DONT WORRY), so i expected more tension between them but it was essentially non-existent. but this didn't take away from the experience of the book because it didn't feel like a major aspect of the story. overall, i had a great time reading this so what are you waiting for? PUT THIS ON YOUR TBR RN AND READ IT AS SOON AS IT RELEASES thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for sending an e-arc via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    4.5 stars "You may not be able to change the past, but with each action, you can change the future." Imagine if Aang from ATLA was a girl and had a slowburn romance with Zuko. That is this book. Well, no, this book is so much more than the romance. The romance, being slowburn, takes a backseat to the plot for 50% of the book, which I appreciated. I found myself constantly wondering which character's I could trust, who was telling the truth, and that it always the most fun when reading a fantasy bo 4.5 stars "You may not be able to change the past, but with each action, you can change the future." Imagine if Aang from ATLA was a girl and had a slowburn romance with Zuko. That is this book. Well, no, this book is so much more than the romance. The romance, being slowburn, takes a backseat to the plot for 50% of the book, which I appreciated. I found myself constantly wondering which character's I could trust, who was telling the truth, and that it always the most fun when reading a fantasy book. June C.L. Tan has a BEAUTIFUL writing style. Her words flowed freely on the page and I devoured them easily. I found myself constantly highlighting quotes as I read because of how lyrical they were. Her world building was exquisite and I had no trouble following along with any of the kingdom politics or magical lore. The Chinese mythology was seamlessly built into this high fantasy and it was fun picking up on stories I had read about as a kid. Also, this book has elemental magic. ELEMENTAL MAGIC. That is my favourite type of magic system to read about and it almost always signals that I will love the book. Our characters start off on separate paths but slowly find their way to one another as they are bound by the red string of fate. They will either be each other's salvation or damnation, and it is up to them to decide how they will forge their path. I will admit, I did prefer Ahn's POV more to Altan's, but that is just because it took a little too long for Altan to look past his revenge plot and realise that there is more to life. Ahn, on the other hand, was open to learning about the world and making her own decisions based on what was in front of her. She started off as a girl who had nothing and was terrified of her own magic, and turned into a woman determined to save the world no matter the cost. Her journey was amazing to follow and I was so proud. This book DOES have a cliffhanger epilogue and the publishers only bought book 1 from the author... fingers crossed that they end up acquiring book 2 because I am terrified to learn what happens next. June C.L. Tan is an author I cannot wait to read more from. I read an ARC from Harper Teen.

  24. 4 out of 5

    rain

    ↠ buddy read with may!! 07/12/2021 i started this with high expectations and im sorry to report that all of those came crashing down when i read it. yes, i did not like it. no, i will not be elaborating for now because it's almost 1 am and i need to sleep. rtc. 08/30/2021 i finally have time to explain why i didn't love this book. trust me, this hurts me too. the good: this book started off really well. the world-building was interesting and i was intrigued by the characters. it was also fascinat ↠ buddy read with may!! 07/12/2021 i started this with high expectations and im sorry to report that all of those came crashing down when i read it. yes, i did not like it. no, i will not be elaborating for now because it's almost 1 am and i need to sleep. rtc. 08/30/2021 i finally have time to explain why i didn't love this book. trust me, this hurts me too. the good: this book started off really well. the world-building was interesting and i was intrigued by the characters. it was also fascinating to take note of the ATLA parallels. most importantly, i looked forward to ahn and altan's interactions. i was excited to see their paths finally converge and it genuinely excited me when they did. however, things went downhill as the story progressed. the bad: - the primary reason why this book didn't work for me is because it was obviously caught in between the "this is a standalone" and "this can be the first book in a series" kind of dilemma. the worldbuilding speaks of a lot of history and conflict, but they were not tapped into properly because the Big Drama had to be resolved in this one book. it's evident that this story is supposed to be set for something more than a standalone but because it was forced into the standalone mold, a lot of things were glossed over and resolved quickly, leaving me unsatisfied and disappointed. - the writing in some parts seemed...clipped. there was also a lot of info-dumping by the end. again, i think this is because the backbone of the story is too huge but everything was congested in less than 500 pages. - the romance was DISAPPOINTING. a lot of the pages in this book were devoted to ahn and altan spending time together but their relationship did not develop naturally AT ALL. i was expecting a lot of angst and tension but i got none of that. this story hinged a lot on ahn and altan's "love" for each other but i could never take it seriously because they had almost zero romantic connection. the romance aspect in this book was too painful to read. - the last chapters of this book are a mess. everything happened too fast. scenes that should have been individually important just blurred together because there was not enough time to dwell on each of them. tl;dr: this could have been better if the story were better polished as a standalone. this reads like the first book in a series jumped to book three in just 100 pages. disappointing story execution and romance. will probably work for other people but didn't work for me at all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Esmiralda

    5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the e-arc for an honest opinion. Please take in mind it’s my opinion, and everyone is allowed to have one. This was such an amazing, interesting and unique read, I truly loved this from beginning till the end. It was so well written, and the plot was so amazing! And the ending? WOW! I absolutely loved all of the characters, literally every character was so unique. To see what they’ve done or experienced. The slow burn romance was so great as 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the e-arc for an honest opinion. Please take in mind it’s my opinion, and everyone is allowed to have one. This was such an amazing, interesting and unique read, I truly loved this from beginning till the end. It was so well written, and the plot was so amazing! And the ending? WOW! I absolutely loved all of the characters, literally every character was so unique. To see what they’ve done or experienced. The slow burn romance was so great as well. 10/10 would recommend reading this!

  26. 5 out of 5

    ash

    edit: lowering a star bc the more it sits in my brain, the more i don't like it what if katara were the dark avatar and zuko was hunting her down? this pitch instantly sold me! i expected it to be amazing since the concept of the story appealed to me, but it turned out to be a pretty rudimentary YA fantasy. it's not bad, i think i just set my expectations too high. the writing was unremarkable, but forgivable because this is a debut novel after all. i expected the story to be intriguing and the ch edit: lowering a star bc the more it sits in my brain, the more i don't like it what if katara were the dark avatar and zuko was hunting her down? this pitch instantly sold me! i expected it to be amazing since the concept of the story appealed to me, but it turned out to be a pretty rudimentary YA fantasy. it's not bad, i think i just set my expectations too high. the writing was unremarkable, but forgivable because this is a debut novel after all. i expected the story to be intriguing and the characters to be compelling. but everything seems simple and average to me. like yes, it has plot, characters, magic, a little romantic tension... it's a book! a really alright book, though initially it can be slow and predictable tbh— it's still an overall decent debut novel, just not as great as i thought would be.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Langford

    3.5*** rounded up! This book was a great blend of Chinese mythology, fantasy setting and fantasy politics. Ahn is a fugitive, living with her “grandmother” and just trying to get the money to feed them both on a day-to-day basis, and to stay out of the way of the terrifying Diyeh priests who burn anyone found with magical abilities at the stake. Altan is the missing rightful heir to the Empire, he is believed to be dead and is living with a vengeance. His one plan is to find the ‘Life Stealer’, g 3.5*** rounded up! This book was a great blend of Chinese mythology, fantasy setting and fantasy politics. Ahn is a fugitive, living with her “grandmother” and just trying to get the money to feed them both on a day-to-day basis, and to stay out of the way of the terrifying Diyeh priests who burn anyone found with magical abilities at the stake. Altan is the missing rightful heir to the Empire, he is believed to be dead and is living with a vengeance. His one plan is to find the ‘Life Stealer’, get the sword, destroy the life stealer, and set previous wrongs to rights, and to claim back the throne. This is a world where magic is controlled or eliminated by the empire, with punishments for Teinsei (magic weilders) and those harbouring or helping Teinsei brandished as traitors. When they meet Altan knows he can use Ahn to reclaim back the throne, whereas Ahn wants answers to her abilities and answers to her murky past and history. But in order to achieve their goals, far more twists and deadlier turns must happen, and they must question who to trust. Can they even trust each other? This had many great things that I really enjoyed: the magic was amazing, fantastic action scenes, an adventure, a plot with a deep historical background, a slow(ish) burn romance, an intriguing empire built on deception, power and lies. I adored Ahn as a character and her trying to discover her own truth, and the twists and turns she gets caught up in of who she can trust/rely upon, as well as discovering the truth and history about the empire and herself. The last hour of this book, with its revelations, confrontations and action, had me speed racing through this book. This book did have a strong beginning and then I found my attention waned a bit (reflected in the rating), which then increased dramatically in the last hour. I had read some people say “read this for fans of The Poppy War” which I enjoyed immensely, but I shouldn’t have gone into this expecting that this would be similar, as I couldn’t help but compare it. Overall, a 3.5-4**** rating. Loved the characters (and loved Ahn especially), enjoyed the setting and interesting historical politics. The author wrote an epilogue (and can assume this will be a second book!) and I am highly interested in continuing this series. Thank you to Netgalley for this E-Arc.

  28. 5 out of 5

    noah ♡

    rtc closer to pub date for now i have no words this is absolutely one of my faves of 2021 maybe even one of my all time faves …. i loved everything about this book so much & i’m so so excited for it to come out later this year

  29. 4 out of 5

    elhyza

    jade fire gold was genuinely so much fun to read being a quick paced, rather easy to follow fantasy with wonderful prose in its lore and perspectives' dialogue that i was able to binge within a day. chapters in, i was immediately fond of our two mains ahn and altan with their backstories of what they had gone through traumatically and their strengths in persevering through a world that is against them. though this novel did have flaws with the varying speed the plot was moving at and with ahn a jade fire gold was genuinely so much fun to read being a quick paced, rather easy to follow fantasy with wonderful prose in its lore and perspectives' dialogue that i was able to binge within a day. chapters in, i was immediately fond of our two mains ahn and altan with their backstories of what they had gone through traumatically and their strengths in persevering through a world that is against them. though this novel did have flaws with the varying speed the plot was moving at and with ahn and altan's dynamic being underdeveloped and definitely rushed in terms of romantic feelings, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the overall story, its adventures and the amusing banter between the mains. the plot twists and foundation of the world were pretty well done though i wish readers had more in depth view of how the magic system works. shoutout to tang wei, linxi, leiye, and tai shun those characters definitely brought more to the table contrasting ahn and altan and provided an entertaining found family dynamic i adored. didn't quite live up to the concept of zuko meets dark katara, but would still highly recommend this to anyone in need of a brisk straightforward fantasy read with elements of east asian lore and magic. june really played with my emotions in the last few chapters, despite the ending being wrapped up quite quickly, i'm very much looking forward in hopes of this book being picked up for a series, especially after one part of the ending wow, and seeing more of these characters develop and what adventures they'll have in store for them!

  30. 5 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    you had me at (1) chinese mythology, (2) comping two of my all-time favorite novels (girls of paper and fire & the tiger at midnight), and (3) a zutara-inspired pairing???? i am not okay and will never be okay (until i read this) you had me at (1) chinese mythology, (2) comping two of my all-time favorite novels (girls of paper and fire & the tiger at midnight), and (3) a zutara-inspired pairing???? i am not okay and will never be okay (until i read this)

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