Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night – Amélie Wen Zhao (Song of the Last Kingdom #1)

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical


This book was an absolute cover love for me! Look how gorgeous it is! I love dragons and I’ve always been interested in Chinese folklore so I was super excited to read it. I can attest upfront that this story did not disappoint.

Lan and Zen were compelling characters, each with their own traumas and their secrets—secrets that the author dribbled throughout the story with a clever hand, keeping you wanting for more. The plotline was intriguing with twists that some I saw coming and others I so did not and enjoyed the surprise of those revelations.

The side characters were excellent additions and knit the threads of this story tight. I did expect more from the main characters by the ending chapters, especially Zen but I understand that this is only the first in a duology.

I read this book in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop and I was dying to know what happened next! What I loved best about this story, was the author’s fascinating descriptions of the magic, the abilities, and the vivid scenes that I could see in my mind. Amélie Wen Zhao is a new author for me but I am already impressed by her writing style and can’t wait to try her other books.

Thanks to Penguin Teen Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.


Synopsis: In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past—and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China. Once, Lan had a different name. Now she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and her days scavenging for what she can find of the past. Anything to understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother in her last act before she died. The mark is mysterious—an untranslatable Hin character—and no one but Lan can see it. Until the night a boy appears at her teahouse and saves her life. Zen is a practitioner—one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom. Their magic was rumored to have been drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Now it must be hidden from the Elantians at all costs. When Zen comes across Lan, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it—but he knows that if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime. Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within—secrets they must hide from others, and secrets that they themselves have yet to discover. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world. Now the battle for the Last Kingdom begins.




I'm a die-hard Book Dragon and also an advanced introvert. My blog's about books, books and more books. (yep, that was easy) I might, from time to time, write about life and its vagaries. I like taking pictures of books and doing origami and cross-stitch.

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