Book Review: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao


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 the Rise of the Empress novels.

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.

Book Review:

This book has left me jaw-dropped every time a chapter ended. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is a wonderful novel about discovery, resilience, courage, acceptance, friendship, impartial, and family. This book was so written well that I could visualize in my imagination what was happening on the book and yet, it maximize my reading experience where I could even imagine how vivid and beautiful the execution of each and adventures Jade has to conquer.

I felt a lot of feels in this book. There are so many emotions that I don’t know how to explain but I’m sure that Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix doesn’t just live up to the reader’s expectation but it will exceed each and everyone’s expectations towards the story that Dao weaved for her brilliant, majestic, and addicting novel. Dao even breaks some stereotypes. It shows how she values the trait of a person.

Emotions burst. I don’t know where to put my happiness. I questioned where are my aches are coming from. It was because Julie Dao is a genius. She truly knows how to write a novel where her readers wouldn’t just enjoy the scenery of how she describes everything in the book but would also enjoy the action, the thrill, enjoyment, confusion, and heart-warming scenes that will definitely, and should be looking forward to by everyone.

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is not the typical fantasy that we are introduced of. Elemental magic? No. Witches? Nada. Instead, this novel offers a different approach to fantasy. It teases the readers of the magic that has been laid on the book and eventually, in small amounts, being given in due time whereas fantasy, miracles, magic, and reality collides. It is an amazing talent to craft a novel with limited magic and yet still ignites the small amount of magical perception towards its readers. It is truly magical to read a book by Julie Dao.

If there’s another word that I’m going to describe Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, that would be enchanting. This book didn’t just haunt me on how good and fast-paced the book was but how exceptional the novel is. Julie Dao is on point on what to do in each every hunt of the relics. She knows how to give her readers a sense of panic for her protagonist and both at the same time, she knows where and how to calm down her readers but with satisfied and yet completely, unbelievable, phenomenal scenarios.

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao is a remarkable story that will teach the young readers and inspire women to be brave and believe in themselves. This book shows motherly love and sacrifice of one’s love and appreciation of small things that you are receiving. Aside from the fact that this book tackles friendship, the story also discussed the importance of trust, values, beliefs, and moralities. Despite the things that the readers could get from Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix; this novel implies that from doubting yourself to having the courage to standing up on your own and believing on your own is one of the key factors for success with the help of your friends and those people who love you. This book exudes so much love, empathy, and a little bit of craziness. Without a doubt, this novel will be one of the best novels of 2018.


(If I could give this book a hundred stars, I would.)

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Julie C. Dao ( is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.
Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

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