ARC Review: Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan

About the Book:

Title: Jade Fire Gold

Author: June C.L. Tan

Page Length: 464

Publication Date: Oct. 12, 2021

Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis: 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.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |     Book Depository

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My Review:

Ahn is a peasant girl who lives with her sickly grandmother and struggles to make ends meet. With a magical power that could result in her death, Ahn determines to find out all she can about her unremembered past and her ability. Altan is the missing heir to the throne who wants revenge over those who wronged him and his family. Believed to be dead along with the rest of his family, Altan is fueled by vengeance, and he journeys in search of a legendary blade that can save the world. When their paths continue to cross, Ahn and Altan become unlikely allies.

The story switches between Ahn and Altan’s perspectives, so you get an in-depth view of both of their thoughts, feelings, and motivations. Ahn and Altan are well-developed, interesting characters, and their journeys, as individuals and together, are compelling. I liked how Ahn slowly learned about her power and tried to find out more about her past and how she gained these abilities. Like Altan, she goes on a poignant physical and emotional journey.

Ahn can’t remember the first years of her life and seeks the truth about her past. Unlike Ahn, Altan vividly remembers his childhood and the horrific murders of his family. Though they are quite different, they have both struggled and suffered so much, and they have much more in common than it initially appears. Their love story is slow-building and burning, and there is a lot of romantic tension throughout. Trust issues, danger, deception, and more stand in their way, and their road is not easy.

Since Ahn and Altan are apart for quite a bit of the book, the dual perspectives expand and define their world more. You become quickly immersed in a dangerous world of magic and corruption and are captivated by some remarkable protagonists. And the supporting characters are equally interesting! I actually wish there was a little more of them and am hoping that this is not a standalone so I can see more of them in future books. There are also several unexpected plot twists, which makes for an intriguing read, as does the lore and mythology. The pacing is a bit uneven at times, but the magic, the characters, and the action and adventure were fantastic.

Overall, Jade Fire Gold is an entertaining and immersive read from debut author June CL Tan. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender will definitely enjoy this one, as there are many parallels to the story and characters. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Harper Teen, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The dynamically developed characters.
  • The dual perspectives.
  • The magic.

Favorite Line:

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

Hers is a love that shields me endlessly.

Always remember, the heart is not a weakness.


Be sure to check the content warnings before reading the book, as there are some aspects of the story that might prove triggering for some readers.

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