Are you searching for Asian adventure stories?

I was going to put “Asian fantasy” in the title, but then I had visions of people coming here searching for a XXX site—ugh.

4259596_blogI got a note from a reader who told me they’ve been searching for this sort of book forever and there’s not much out there. She had been going through search engines looking for Asian fantasy stories.  It’s not the first letter I’ve gotten like that either. Each one makes me hopeful. For an unpublished writer to start getting fan mail, and not from friends who love me, that must mean something right? 🙂

It was a big boost when I found an agent who was excited to go to bat for me. We’re still on that search for the  editor who believes that these stories will sell. Funny how much of an uphill battle it is to get into English language genre fiction when there’s a flood of movies, manga, anime and centuries of Asian language literature on the same themes.

Once in a while when I’m feeling blue and lonely, I do go googling for Asian fantasy fiction or wuxia. But that’s okay. I knew this was going to be hard when I started. I just have to keep improving the writing.

4245636_blogSo if you’re out there. If you’re searching too and you’ve found me. Say hello. *waves*

I truly believe there is a market and I love these stories. I’m very stubborn and somewhat patient and there’s enough stories in this genre to last another couple centuries.

Review: Silver Phoenix – A spectacular visual adventure

silver_phoenixSeventeen year old Ai Ling discovers a new gift on the day that her arranged marriage falls apart. She can enter another being’s spirit and hear their thoughts. In the aftermath of the scandal, her father disappears on a journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams.

As Ai Ling sets out on a journey to find her father and bring him home,  she meets up with two brothers, Chen Yong and Li Rong. Chen Yong is of mixed blood, part Xian and part foreigner, and he’s on a quest of his own to discover the history of his parents, kept secret all these years. The three travel together, encountering demons and mystical creatures, while Ai Ling’s powers grow. With each new obstacle, it becomes clearer and clearer that there are powerful forces working against them and that somehow, Ai Ling and Chen Yong’s fates have been twined together by events that happened before they were born.

Silver Phoenix is a spectacularly vivid journey. The Kingdom of Xia parallels medieval China where the lines of the spirit world have become blurred. Ms. Pon’s descriptions are colorful and imaginative. Her characters hitch a ride on a dragon and fly to the land of the Immortals where she pulls from Chinese mythology and iconography to create a view of the heavens never seen before. The demons are suitable grotesque and originally depicted.

In the tradition of Asian heroic fiction, the villians and allies that Ai Ling meets along the way are complex beings. No one is truly good, no one is truly evil. The arch villian Zhong Ye has a touch of humanity that cannot be denied. The seemingly benign Immortals lead the heros into disaster.

What starts out as a fun, fanciful journey through Xia, full of exotic food and magical adventure, evolves by the end into a rich emotional exploration of the depths of honor, spiritual debt, and destiny. I can see where the bittersweet nature of the story at times may be unsettling to Western readers who are used to happy endings, but I found it refreshing that once Ai Ling is back in her home, we truly get a sense of her growth through the epic journey we have experienced with her and feel her yearning for the adventures yet to come. Cindy Pon and Silver Phoenix do justice to the wuxia tradition.

To find the book on Amazon, go here.

Visit Cindy Pon’s page. There’s a release contest and a lucky winner will receive an original Cindy Pon brush painting as well as a signed copy of the book.