Waiting on Wednesday: Kingdom of the Blazing Pheonix

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is the sequel to last years A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns.

This novel takes place a few years later and follows Princess Jade, the princess who Xifeng sent away at the end of the previous novel.

Title: Kingdom of the Blazing Pheonix
Series: Rise of the Empress
Author: Julie C. Dao
Publisher: Philomel Books
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Released: November 6th 2018
Page Count: 384


This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to the Rise of the Empress novels.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.


A Forest of Thousand Lanterns is one of the few books that split Chelsey and my decision. Chelsey wasn’t much of a fan but the more I thought about the book the more I realized I liked it. I felt for like Xifeng as she sprinted down the path to villainy. She did not pass go. She did not collect 200 dollars. Xifeng was doomed from the start. But, given the completed nature of her arc, it really left no where for her character to go. When i found out that the sequel would follow Princess Jade I was really excited.

It will be cool to see the fallout of Xifeng’s actions. In A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns the narrative was confined to the palace. The characters and the readers were completely cut off from the outside world. Given the nature of the Blazing Pheonix’s summary it seems like we’ll be seeing a lot more of the world as Jade sets out on her quest to raise the Dragon Lords. It will compliment the first book nicely.

Things I Want to See In the Kingdom of the Blazing Pheonix

  • The world – as mentioned above I really liked what I saw last time. Now I want to see more.
  • The Dragon Lords – In the previous book we learned about the mythical dragon lords in passing. We know that the royal line is descended from them. I want to learn more about their powers and hear more stories about them. Which leads into….
  • The Serpent God – He was terrifying. i loved that he was an active part of the narrative and made an appearance. I want to learn more about him and want to see him interacting more with Xifeng and Jade.
  • Wei – poor Wei. I want to see him training and advising Jade in an almost Obi-Wan capacity. It would set up perfectly for a conversation where he tells Jade that Xifeng killed his love… I love me some melodrama.

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix has a lot of promise. I can’t wait to see how Dao continues her Snow White retelling. But I have to wait till November to find out how the story ends.


If you have any other fairy tale retellings or reimaginings I should read in the meantime let me know.

Happy Reading.Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly tag hosted by Breaking the Spine where you draw attention to upcoming releases that you’re excited for. 

Written by
Alexandra is always looking for the next book she can devour. She has a love hate relationship with teen fiction specifically when it comes to fantasy, post apocalyptic and failed shakespeare adaptations.

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