Thursday, September 22, 2016

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Title: Serpentine
Author: Cindy Pon
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication date: September 8, 2015
Pages: 300
Source/format: Library//Paperback 

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from

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.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

Skybright is the handmaiden to the Yuan's youngest daughter, Zhen Li. Although their companionship is one that is very sisterly, Skybright cannot tell Zhen Li everything since she hides a secret that can threaten her life.

Cindy Pon does a wonderful job with female relationships. Friendships and bonding are super important no matter what the status the characters are. Serpentine is inspired by Chinese folklore with a twist. Pon's description of the food is fantastic! I was constantly craving all the wonderful Chinese delicacies mentioned in the book. It's refreshing to see a f/f relationship in an Asian setting. It's something that is always kept under the wraps so seeing it while reading this historical fantasy helps understand the motives of Zhen Li.

Although I enjoyed reading about Chinese traditions, customs and the culture, I found it unrealistic that the Yuan family didn't check on Skybright's disappearances and how she didn't get reprimanded. The romance in the novel was very insta-love with Skybright and Kai Sen; there was no time for love to grow and blossom. I was surprised how Zhen Li ran off to see her lover but no one was able to find her besides Skybright.

I also wasn't found of the Skybright fighting off the dead. It became increasingly boring and I wanted to learn more about Skybright as a serpent demon. There wasn't too much information about Skybright and her family's history but I hope to find out in the Sacrifice, the next installment in the series.

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