Title: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix
Series: Rise of the Empress, #2
Author: Julie C. Dao
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publishing Date: November 6th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
“You’ve been busy, haven’t you? Worrying about your father, commanding my servants.” Xifeng sipped her wine. “By the way, the eunuchs are too busy with the banquet to move Lihua’s map. I hope you’ll understand.”
“I do,” Jade said evenly, “and I hope Your Majesty will understand that it’s my duty as a daughter to be concerned about my father.”
“Of course. But when I tell you I’ve done everything I can for him, it would be gracious of you to believe me. Not interrogate Gao or disturb your father by trying to send half a dozen messages.” Xifeng blinked at her. “You’re not eating, darling. Aren’t you hungry?”
Jade reluctantly picked up a piece of duck egg, but it tasted like sand in her mouth.
“You’re a bit difficult to please, aren’t you, Princess?” Xifeng’s eyes ran over her from head to toe. “You even refused my handmaiden, Lady Ong, and insisted on finding your own.”
“I did not mean to offend Your Majesty.” Jade had done no wrong and had made every effort to be courteous and respectful, and she was determined not to apologize.
But Xifeng softened as though she had. “I only want you to be happy,” she said, draining her cup. The moment it was empty, a eunuch stepped abruptly from the shadows to refill it and she gave a violent start at the sight of him, crying out and dropping the cup. The man prostated himself on the floor, groveling. “I told you,” Xifeng told him in a low, dangerous voice when she had recovered, “never to approach unless I call for something. Get out of my sight.”
Julie C. Dao is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England.
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