Book Review: Of Jade And Dragons By Amber Chen (2024)

Book Review: Of Jade And Dragons By Amber Chen (1)

On behalf of YA fantasy lovers everywhere, we are getting fed this year! We’ve gotten sequels like Sound the Gong and , along with conclusions to trilogies like All This Twisted Glory and Burning Crowns. And today, we’re reviewing a YA fantasy series starter: Of Jade and Dragons, Amber Chen’s debut novel.

Inspired by Qing Dynasty China, Of Jade and Dragons follows Aihui Ying, a girl who’s determined to find her father’s killer and avenge him. She disguises herself as her brother to infiltrate the Engineers Guild and even makes an unlikely ally of Aogiya Ye-yang, the eighth prince.

Of Jade and Dragons is the first book of the Fall of the Dragon duology. Let’s just say we’re already eager to get our hands on the second book! But we’re willing to wait as long as it takes to see the conclusion to Ying and Ye-yang’s story. So until that time comes, we’ll share three of our favorite things about Amber Chen’s Of Jade and Dragons!

Book Review: Of Jade And Dragons By Amber Chen (2)

Book Overview: Of Jade And Dragons

Content Warnings: parental death, murder, violence, blood, mentions of war, descriptions of weapons of war, misogyny as is typical of a society entrenched in patriarchy

Summary: Eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying dreams of becoming a world-class engineer like her father, but after his sudden murder, her life falls apart. Left with only a journal of her father’s engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, a heartbroken Ying follows the trail to the capital and the prestigious Engineers Guild—a place that harbors her father’s hidden past—determined to discover why anyone would threaten a man who ultimately chose a quiet life over fame and fortune.

Disguised as her brother, Ying manages to infiltrate the guild’s male-only apprenticeship trial with the help of an unlikely ally—Aogiya Ye-yang, the taciturn eighth prince of the High Command. With her father’s renown placing a target firmly on her back, Ying must stay one step ahead of her fellow competitors, the jealous guild masters, and the killer still hunting for her father’s journal. Complicating everything is her increasingly tangled relationship with the prince, who may have mysterious plans of his own.

The secrets concealed within the guild can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and with her life and the future of her homeland at stake, Ying doesn’t know who to trust. Can she avenge her father even if it means going against everything he stood for, or will she be next in the mastermind’s line of fire?

C-Drama Vibes

Part of our love of fantasy comes from our love of Chinese historical and fantasy dramas! And we can easily imagine Of Jade and Dragons as an action-packed C-Drama with plenty of palace intrigue. With the question of the High Commander’s heir apparent still undecided, all the princes must prove their worth. It even played like a TV show in our heads as we were reading. We can’t get enough of this book, and the writing fully immersed us in the story.

Ying’s Courage

There’s no denying that Ying has main character energy. She’s willing to bet her life by disguising herself as a boy in order to gain access to the Engineers Guild. Everything will be worth it, as long as she can find her father’s killer and take revenge. Granted, Ying completely goes against her father’s dying wishes to get here. But she barrels her way through the training and tests, surrounded by people who stop at nothing to bring her down. Ultimately, the cost of revenge may have been worth more than she expected.

Good Ol’ Angst

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we don’t want to make ourselves sad or frustrated all the time. But it’s hard to believe with all the angst we’ve read this year. The plot twists with Ye-yang’s true political role and arranged marriage had us punching the air. Ying and Ye-yang have crossed too many lines not to be fated together. Of course, everything is much easier said than done when the love interest is 1) royalty and 2) most favored to be the next ruler. We won’t give up on them yet!

With an intricately woven plot and an ill-fated entanglement, Amber Chen’s Of Jade and Dragons has the makings of one of our favorite YA fantasy series openers yet!

Of Jade and Dragons by Amber Chen releases June 18th, and you can preorder a copy of it here!

What do you think of Amber Chen’s Of Jade and Dragons from our review? Let us know onTwitter, Facebook, and Instagram!


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    Julie Dam

Book Review: Of Jade And Dragons By Amber Chen (2024)
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