This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to that breathtaking and dazzling story.
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.
Fans of Stealing Snow, Red Queen, and The Wrath and the Dawn will hungrily devour this page-turning read.
Praise for Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix:
“There aren’t many authors who could so precisely undo their first book with their second, but it is this clever unweaving that shows Dao’s brilliance and skill. With heart-stopping action and wonderful new characters, this is not a sequel to be missed.” —EK Johnston, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A lush, enchanting tale of magic, myth, and absolute courage. At once gorgeously woven and deliciously gruesome, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is a thrilling end to a series that feels like a classic in its own right.” —Natalie Mae, author of The Kinder Poison
“Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is the stunning counterpoint to Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. A refreshing take on the classic heroine, and an adventure of stories nestled within stories, this is a book fairytale lovers will tuck among their most beloved treasures.” —Emily X.R. Pan, New York Times bestselling author of The Astonishing Color of After
“Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix broke my heart and filled it, all at once. In the process, Julie C. Dao has turned a well-worn tale into something thrilling and new. Ornate, tender, and magical. I could not put this book down.” —Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Beasts Made of Night and Crown of Thunder
“Beautifully written and masterfully told, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix feels at once timeless and entirely new . . . I loved it with my whole heart.” —Margaret Rogerson, New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens
“Utterly brilliant in every way, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is the perfect follow-up to Julie C. Dao’s debut. This is the dark fantasy I’ve been waiting for, and I can’t get enough!” —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Give the Dark My Love
“A grand adventure for fans of fairy tales, fables, and legends coupled with the vibrant history of Chinese dynasties.”—Kirkus Reviews
* “A top purchase for most fantasy collections.” –School Library Journal, starred review
The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress.
“A richly developed fantasy world . . . Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch.”—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.
Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.
Praise for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
A Junior Library Guild Selection
“A richly developed fantasy world coupled with an ambitious anti-heroine of complex agency, this story shines and surprises at every turn. Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch.”—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites
★ “A masterful reimagining of the early life of Snow White’s Evil Queen.”—Booklist, starred review
“Rich in detail and full of gore and blood, this dark novel will satisfy ‘Game of Thrones’ fans.”—School Library Journal
“A stunning reimagining of the Evil Queen. Filled with treacherous courtesans, dark magic, terrible choices, and bloody hearts, Julie Dao’s exquisite take on this classic villain rises far above the average retelling.”—Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
“Magnetic, seductive, and alluring, Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is a lush, captivating read about desire and the lengths to which we will go to find our true destiny.”—S. Jae-Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong