Blog Tour · English Review/Post · Review · Review Copy

Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan (Blog Tour)

Thank you to Caffeine Tours and Netgalley for an ARC of JFG in exchange for a sincere review.
This hasn’t influenced my review in any way, my review is honest and unbiased.
All quotes in the review are from the ARC and may differ upon publication.

Jade Fire Gold by June CL TanTitle: Jade Fire Gold
Series:

Author: June CL Tan

Published12. October 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA

Length: 464 pages

Source: Blog Tour (NetGalley)

Buy links:

Representation: POC (Chinese-coded characters), LGBTQ+ (side sapphic and gay romances) + Chinease-Singaporean author

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

 

Synopsis red

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.

My Thoughts red

Reasons to read Jade Fire Gold:

  1. Worldbuilding + Descriptions
  2. Mentors
  3. Side characters

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“You may not be able to change the past, but with each action, you can change the future.”

Jade Fire Gold is a story of coming to terms with the past, finding a way to live with it. Both Altan and Ahn lived through traumatic events in their childhood and both aren’t really ready to truly deal with them just yet. Ahn is blocking most of it from her mind, trying to forget while Altan is set on revenge. On taking back what’s rightfully his.

I absolutely loved the first, say, third of Jade Fire Gold. It was incredibly easy to get into and the prologue? Fantastic. The writing fits the overall tone of the story very well and is really good, considering this is a debut. The descriptions were my favourite part of it. The information was revealed slowly and carefully integrated into the flow of the story.

“Hard to imagine our land is slowly dying and war is on the horizon. Or maybe, when you are so used to being in a perpetual state of conflict, you begin to treat it like something mundane. Especially when it doesn’t affect you.”

I’m also a fan of the dual POV. Both were equally intriguing and I flew through the pages. I loved how both characters had some mentor figure in their life, who patiently and carefully guide them with love and acceptance.

All in all, the side characters and their relationships with the two main characters but also with each other were lovely to read about. Linxi and Tang Wei are so adorable together and both seem like so much fun. I’d love to read a book about these two! (I also really loved, how accepted lgbt people seem to be here, no one bats an eye at non-hetero relationships.)

Leiye is another character that I’d love to read more about. He’s quite the mysterious character here and I’m curious about his past and what he’s thinking.

“Wishing is pointless. Praying is for fools. I am the only one who can control my fate.”

Both, Ahn and Altan, have a clear character arc and I really appreciated seeing their growth. I also really liked seeing them so intent on acting themselves instead of just letting everything happen to them.

They complemented each other really well, but I have to say I didn’t really feel their romance. They are awesome as partners and friends, but I didn’t connect to them as a couple. Which was a little disappointing since I’m a sucker for a good slow-burn romance. It also felt a little too quick for me, though that is probably personal preference because it is not insta-love. They do take their time, but I think since I didn’t really get their chemistry it still felt too quick to me.

The book can totally stand without its romance though and shines with its atmosphere, the Chinese lore/myths included and its themes from wuxia & xianxia. I loved that it explores themes of history, destiny, sacrifice and family. And forgiveness.

Both Ahn and Altan have to let go of their past and I really enjoyed their journey.

“History is written by its victims.”

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Would recommend to:

Everyone looking for an atmospheric YA fantasy with a vibrant world and two main characters who learn and grow throughout the story. Also, if you love loveable side characters.
I had a great time reading it, so I’d say pick it up!

Author Bio red

Processed with Focos

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.

Connect with June CL Tan:
Website || Instagram || Twitter || Goodreads || Tiktok

 

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Check out all the other tour stops!
(You find find more quotes and playlists and other fun stuff there)

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Have you read Jade Fire Gold? What were your thoughts?
Or is it on your tbr?

Love, El red

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