Book Review: Jade Fire Gold

Jade Fire Gold was guaranteed a spot on my TBR after I saw the cover, the character art the author commissioned and the mentions of said characters being reminiscent of Zuko and Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This YA fantasy twines together the stories of two characters: Ahn, a girl with no past or family but in possession of powerful magical abilities; and Altan, a lost heir hellbent on exacting vengeance and reclaiming his throne. Their respective paths start out seemingly straightforward, but soon discover that things might be more complicated than they could ever have foreseen.

I genuinely enjoyed parts of Jade Fire Gold, including the story lore, the characters (they were archetypes I like in general) and the banter that made an occasional appearance. These were the things that kept me turning the pages of this novel, the three elements that kept my interest piqued and my hope that I would eventually really click with the story alive all the way until the end. But the truth is that the novel fell short for me in, coincidentally, three specific ways that affected my overall feelings. First, the plot (plots, really) had one too many different strings to follow. It felt messier and less developed than I would have liked, and there were certainly moments that felt unearned (especially at the conclusion, which felt like it was trying to lead into a potential sequel). This also lead to, second, the pacing being all over the place; there was a rather large lull to me in the middle of the book. And lastly, while I wanted to love the romance (seriously, it should have been precisely my cup of tea), I ended up feeling a little cheated and less invested than I'd hoped. Unfortunately, while there are details of merit to this book and while I'm sure it could potentially appeal to other readers, I did feel a little let down by Jade Fire Gold by the time I reached the end of the book.

Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan
Pub Info: October 12, 2021 by HarperTEEN
Source: e-galley received from the publisher through Edelweiss


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