Sunday, May 31, 2009
I met Cindy Pon some years ago on the discussion forum at SFReader, shortly after my novelette "Dragon's Eye" was published. Some of my fellow contributors to the anthology hung out there, and one day Cindy showed up (as "Cyn") and started posting interesting, thoughtful, and uncapitalized messages. I could see right away that, besides her aversion to the shift key, Cindy was smart, fascinating, and a darn good writer. Like many of us, she had a work-in-progress, a fantasy set in a China-like empire. Like most of us, she wondered if she would ever be published.
Well, she finished that book, found an agent, and got an offer, all in record time.
Silver Phoenix is the story of Ai Ling, a young woman who embarks on a fateful trip to escape an unwanted marriage and to find her father, who left one day on a mysterious errand to the emperor's palace and never returned. Her own journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams is part physical, part spiritual, and entirely magical. The danger is great, for someone or something wants Ai Ling dead, and creatures of legend come to life in pursuit of her. But Ai Ling is not alone; she meets friends along the way who help her through both tragedy and triumph.
The prose is spare and understated, in the deceptive way that a Chinese brush painting is spare and understated: only at first glance, until one sees the elegance and lyricism of line and color. Cindy Pon is a master of the written word, and not incidentally, of the brush as well. I deeply enjoyed Silver Phoenix and look forward to the sequel with enthusiasm.
Cindy is holding a contest on her blog, with great prizes (one of her gorgeous paintings, framed! A $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice!). Those who post reviews of Silver Phoenix are eligible for raffle tickets. Details here.
Silver Phoenix book trailer here. (I would embed it, but I don't know how.)
While I admit I am motivated to win one of those marvelous prizes, I would have reviewed this book here anyway and said the exact same things about it. :)
Posted by Beth at 6:13 PM