A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Jade Fire Gold was inspired by Chinese mythology and features characters, plots, and magical creatures from that country.
Revenge is harmful to those who seek it. Forgiveness is not a weakness.
Positive Role Models
Ahn and Altan are brave, resourceful, clever, and kind. They face danger courageously, willing to sacrifice themselves for those they love. Their romance is one of mutual respect.
Jade Fire Gold is set in a magical world very similar to China. The inhabitants seem to be ethnically Asian.
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Violence & Scariness
Violence throughout -- fights with magical swords, poisoned arrows, and spells that leave victims as dessicated husks. But there is actually little bloodshed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The lead characters are mutually attracted but rarely act upon it. Although they sleep in the same room and get embarrassed about being in too-revealing nightwear, their romance doesn't kindle until fairly late in the book, and even then, physical intimacy is limited to passionate embraces.
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Mild and infrequent swearing, maybe two dozen uses of "damn," "dammit," or "bastard."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The young emperor gets drunk one night.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jade Fire Gold is a fantasy romance by June C. L. Tan. Based on Chinese folklore. The novel follows Ahn and Altan as they prepare themselves for oncoming war, exercising their spiritual powers while being stalked by assassins/priests. Violent acts are frequent -- including some torture and eye-gouging -- but the descriptions are not particularly bloody. Swearing is limited to "damn" and "bastard," and sexual content consists mostly of flirting and passionate embraces.
Is It Any Good?
"Wuxia," or "martial heroes," is a popular genre in Asia, and this homage to them brings all the magic and romance readers demand. Ahn and Altan are dynamic, relatable characters,and author June C. L.Tan makes the most of them by splitting their perspectives in alternating chapters, building suspense until they finally meet. Tan is highly competent at world-building, providing a richly detailed backdrop for her plot, which brims with action and romance. An impressive debut, Fire Jade Gold leaves enough hints of further adventures to whet the appetites of now-loyal readers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Romantic Fantasy Books for Teens
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
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