By Cindy Pon
Published on September 8, 2015
Published by Month9Books
Published by Month9Books
SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.
Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.
When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
And the verdict ...
A few years back, I picked up Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix on a whim and fell completely in love wit it. I devoured it, and its sequel Fury of the Phoenix, in no time flat and even now it sticks with me. The writing is gorgeous. The world-building, intriguing and imaginative. So when the opportunity arose to review Serpentine, I knew that I had to give it a chance. While it wasn't quite the perfect experience as the previous series, it was still 100% Cindy Pon. Beautiful writing, top-notch world-building and characterization.
Skybright is an adventurous, outspoken handmaiden to her mistress, Zhen Ni. When Skybright was just a babe, she was left on the doorstep of Zhen Ni's household just days before Zhen Ni was born. they have grown up together, and are more sisters than anything. Together constantly, they know each others secrets. But there is a secret about herself that Skybright is about to learn, and will she have the courage to share it? What is she becoming? Who is she really? And is this why her family left her when she was a babe?
There are sweet romances (Kai Sen and Skybright.... awww!), dark adventure and intriguingly new and unique concepts in Serpentine. From the beginning, Cindy Pon captures your heart and your imagination with incredibly written characters, and a world you just want to live in yourself. At times silly, then heartbreaking, Serpentine is a story that will make you forget your responsibilities for the day, so you can stay in this world.
My only complaint was the ending, which left me feeling a little..... sad, I guess is as good a word as any. Don't get me wrong, it ended the way it needed to end. I just hope that there will be another story heading this way, so Skybright has another day in the sun!