September 8, 2015
Hello everyone! Welcome to our Tour Stop for
Serpentine by Cindy Pon!
We are so thrilled to have Cindy on the blog today for a quick Q&A,
and sharing our review (and love) for Serpentine!
Follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the banner above.
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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.
“Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels
“Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it.” ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series
“Serpentine’s world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites
This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).
I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
Oh my gosh, where do I start with this review? Serpentine by Cindy Pon was a book that reminded me of reasons why I fell in love with reading to begin with!
Author Cindy Pon’s writing completely and utterly drew me into a world filled with magic and Chinese mythology. Honestly, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t love about it. The characters all had personalities of their own that readers will love and hate, and the storyline is one that I just could not get enough of! And the action! Battles between monks and demons? Say whaaaaat? The slice of a sword, the swipe of claws, the screams of pain and the sounds of death…ugh! This book was just…perfection!
Imagine being a girl who, on her sixteenth year, learns that she is not exactly who (or what) she thought she was! That the life that she came to accept was nothing compared to the destiny that she was born to become.
All her life, Skybright has always been the handmaid to Zhen Liu, the daughter of a very wealthy and prominent family. Where, through the years, the two become as close as sisters. But when the time comes when Zhen Liu must take a husband, secrets unfold, not only for Zhen Liu, but for Skybright herself.
Unaware of who her parents were, Skybright has only known the life of being a handmaiden. But suddenly her world is turned upside down when she awakens to find herself with a tale of a serpent with her own upper body. Where rather than walking around, she is slithering along the ground and is able to smell and feel her surroundings in a completely different way.
The way in which the author describes her transformations was done on point. I could totally picture Skybright transforming from human to serpentine right before my eyes. I could imagine the pain and fear that goes through Skybright’s head. Her fear of being found out turned into my fear as well! Not only the fear of being found out by her household, but also by being found out by the man that she has feelings for.
The question of who to trust is constantly thrown in the picture which had me reading faster and faster to see which way the story would go. With Skybright finding out her lineage, to witnessing such a beautiful friendship, and watching Skybright’s acceptance of her destiny, Serpentine by Cindy Pon is a book that should be on everyone’s list of must reads. For some, the beginning may have been a slow start as the heart of the matter starts to unfold, but for me it was perfection! I was able to absorb myself slowly and more in-depth with the turn of each page.
This book is at the top of my MUST READ list. It’s amazing! You definitely need to check it out because OMG! If this book could be turned into a movie as exactly how it played out in my mind, that would be topping on the cake. Fans of fantasy and mythology will devour Serpentine by Cindy Pon. Read this book. Now. Run. Slither away and get a copy ASAP!
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
With warring immortals and demons as a backdrop, Serpentine features a strong sister friendship, danger, first loves, and self-discovery.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
In my debut Silver Phoenix, a beautiful serpent demon disguised in her mortal form tries to lure away one of the characters. She was simply another monster in the novel, and I thought afterward, what if the “monster” had a story? The story of Medusa from Greek mythology has always fascinated me as well, and I wanted to explore the idea of women as “monstrous beauties”. Much of the setting within a rich manor is inspired by the Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber.
Tell us about the main character(s).
Skybright is a orphan taken in at birth by the Yuans, a wealthy merchant family. She was given to her mistress, Zhen Ni, as handmaid, companion and friend. The few who know her might say she is pragmatic to a fault.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
Skybright spends a lot of time in the forests, within nature. I enjoyed those parts very much.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
There is a particular scene with a reanimated corpse. I got specifics from my old college roommate who is a pathologist now, but it was definitely grotesque!
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
Revising Serpentine’s sequel! I also just signed a third Xia fantasy with Month9Books, and am excited to see where further adventures will take me in writing the novel!
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Thank you so much for having me!!
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