Jade Fire Gold

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Book Review - Jade Fire Gold by June C.L Tan

Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan is a slow burn, mixed with a classic plot and Chinese mythology, playing with my favourite tropes and an epic fantasy that leaves you satisfied and vying for more.

Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.

Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.

When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her arcane magical abilities.

But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.


Jade Fire Gold had me captivated from the beginning, from the moment I read the blurb, I delve straight into the book, and came out craving more from this brilliant author.

This as a whole is not original but uses versions of classic tropes which are sure to please as a book to take you out of a reading slump. I enjoyed the read thoroughly and was immediately thrown back in time with the similarity of the tropes.

The book is a slow burn romance, which steals my heart every read. A perfect combination of angst and wholesomeness for any Young Adult reader.

“You may not be able to change the past, but with each action, you can change the future.”

The Magic system – Jade Fire Gold takes the classic aspect of magic relating to the elements and only a few being in their world seem to have and hone this ability. Magic-users who do not belong to a priestly order are hunted down by said priests and executed. Although this isn’t an original idea, I found it comforting in a well-worn way.

The paranormal ability that grasped my attention was the idea of a life-stealer. Without revealing too much, I just want to say it was a beautiful concept which held my attention for the duration of the book.

“Forgiveness is not weakness.”

The book in general is one I would recommend being read in one sitting. It isn’t a high fantasy that has a complex world-building system and as a whole, the cast of characters is beautifully selected.

June C.L. Tan embedded some inspiring Chinese mythology which caught my attention right away.

Romance – The majority of this book follows the two main characters – Ahn and Altan – in their journey to retrieve the white jade sword. And while they battle against their pasts and wrestle with their present situations, it’s clear to see their conflicting feelings in falling for each other.

This is honestly one of my favourite bookish couples and reading the books was such a great experience. After all, he was waiting his whole life to kill her and ends up falling in love instead. June C.L. Tan has used all of my favourite enemies to overs scenes in her novel and has captivated me through and through.

“Just Because you have the power to take life, it does not mean you should.”

In terms of plot, the main action is towards the end of the book, so if you’re looking for something action-based, I would recommend The Poppy War, which to me is the exact opposite of this calm and relaxing read. There aren’t a lot of unexpected plot twists which keep you on your feet and the plot is generally quite fast-paced for a quick read.

There isn’t, much to say about this book individually, because you can only get the full experience of Jade Fire Gold from reading the book together. However, as a whole, I would give this book 4.5 out of five stars, as it is a cute book that I think I could reread a million times.

About the Author

June C.L. Tan is a Singaporean author who after obtaining three degrees wrote her debut novel, Jade Fire Gold. She grew up on classical books, caffeine, congee, and wuxia movies. She currently lives in New York City with her cat.

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