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Of Jade and Dragons

Author Amber Chen
Paperback
$11.50 US
5.44"W x 8.24"H x 1.25"D   (13.8 x 20.9 x 3.2 cm) | 16 oz (448 g) | 24 per carton
On sale Jun 18, 2024 | 480 Pages | 978-0-593-69290-5
Age 12 and up | Grade 7 & Up
Sales rights: US, Canada, Open Mkt
Export Edition
Mulan meets Iron Widow in this thrilling silkpunk fantasy about a girl who must disguise herself as a boy and enter the famed and dangerous Engineer’s Guild trials to unravel the mystery of her father’s murder.

Eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying dreams of becoming a world-class engineer like her father, but after his sudden murder, her life falls apart. Left with only a journal of her father’s engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, a heartbroken Ying follows the trail to the capital and the prestigious Engineers Guild—a place that harbors her father’s hidden past—determined to discover why anyone would threaten a man who ultimately chose a quiet life over fame and fortune. 

Disguised as her brother, Ying manages to infiltrate the guild’s male-only apprenticeship trial with the help of an unlikely ally—Aogiya Ye-yang, the taciturn eighth prince of the High Command. With her father’s renown placing a target firmly on her back, Ying must stay one step ahead of her fellow competitors, the jealous guild masters, and the killer still hunting for her father’s journal. Complicating everything is her increasingly tangled relationship with the prince, who may have mysterious plans of his own. 

The secrets concealed within the guild can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and with her life and the future of her homeland at stake, Ying doesn’t know who to trust. Can she avenge her father even if it means going against everything he stood for, or will she be next in the mastermind’s line of fire?
Chapter 1
Perched at the edge of a cliff, a tiny figure watched as a dark cloud floated toward her, accompanied by the thunderous whir of rotating engine blades.A furrow appeared on Aihui Ying’s smooth forehead.The High Commander’s airships were far noisier than they should be. It was a low--level problem that could have been easily fixed with mufflers fashioned out of bison leather. Her father’s hypothesis was that the guild masters had let this flaw slip through on purpose, because noise was apparently an effective show of intimidation.“Why stop there? Might as well make lightning bolts shoot out of the keel,” she muttered.The airships passed overhead. Two smaller ones in front and two behind, guarding the behemoth in the middle. Each of them was a black monstrosity emblazoned with the silver emblem of the cobra, bamboo--battened sails extending out from both sides of the hull and flapping majestically against the cold winds.In her childhood, Ying had once disturbed a sleeping lizard lounging on a rock to find out if it was dead. It awoke in a fury, brightly colored frills flaring from its neck in a spectacular display. That was where the Engineers Guild must have gotten their inspiration from, she reckoned, when they added those sails to the airships. Again, for intimidation more than functionality.“By decree of the High Commander,” a monotonous voice issued from above, “the Cobra’s Order is transporting a traitorous prisoner from the capital city to the mines of Juwan, where he is to serve his sentence till death. All civilian airships, keep away—-I repeat—-keep away.”Ying snorted, covering her ears with her gloved hands to shield them from the racket. Trust the High Commander to make an exhibition of his own son’s exile.Nevertheless, she had little sympathy for the former beile and High Commander–-designate. He had dug his grave by trying to incite conflict between his brothers and then having the gall to declare that he would execute everyone he deemed a threat once he assumed command. The story of his downfall had spread far and wide across the nine isles, no doubt with silent approbation by the authorities, as a warning to all who might threaten the stability of the Aogiya High Command.Once the airships had gone by, Ying focused her attention back on the task at hand. She was losing daylight, and while the night views of the Huarin isle were magical, landing was far more challenging in the dark. She tucked loose strands of hair behind her ears, adjusting the cloth band at the back of her head to make sure her bun was secured. Inhaling the frigid summer air, she stretched her hands out to the sides.“In Abka Han we trust.”She leaned forward, tipping her center of gravity over the edge of the cliff. Her body hurtled downward, the distance between her and the perilous rocks rapidly shrinking.A sprinkling of ocean spray kissed her cheeks—-and she sprang to action.Ying yanked at one of the colorful silk cords dangling off the bulky contraption strapped to her back. An enormous pair of wings unfolded, bamboo bones clicking as each segment snapped into place, stretching the thin silk fabric that lined the frame.The wings caught a gust of wind, sending their wearer flying upward and out.“Thank you!” she yelled to the sky, eyes glimmering with excitement as she soared above the waves. Abka Han, the god of the skies who watched over the Antaran territories, was probably sneering at her foolishness, but the proper respect still needed to be paid.Respectfulness she had learned from her mother; the foolhardy part was all from her father.Ying closed her eyes and basked in the serenity of her surroundings. The occasional cooing of gulls punctuated the soft humming of the waves. By the time she opened her eyes again, the circular white roofs of her village’s gers came into view, looking like tiny mushrooms sprouting amid the grass and snow. Farther in the distance, small specks of white and brown dotted the grasslands, the village’s many flocks of sheep, yak, and horse herds grazing peacefully. Tugging at the blue cord on her left, she adjusted her course so that she was now homebound.Before setting off, she had identified a clear patch of grass off the western edge of her village as her landing spot. She had even stuck a large red flag into the ground. But landing was more difficult than she’d imagined.Instead of sailing comfortably toward her flag, Ying lost the updraft midway over the cluster of gers. She was cutting it so close to the sloping roofs that she could see her bewildered clansmen pointing at her and hear their exclamations of incredulity.“Hi,” she yelled, waving stiffly, “just passing through—-”Then suddenly a wooden wind vane caught her right wing, mercilessly ripping through its sheer fabric. That marked the end of Ying’s little experiment. She smashed straight into the felt--lined roof of the ger before tumbling down the side and landing on the ground with a loud crash. The intricately carved wooden door of the circular tent swung open, revealing the perplexed faces of its occupants.A small crowd gathered around her, clucking with disapproval.“Look at you. Such a disgrace! How is it that the chieftain allows his daughter to run amok like a wild boar? To think you’re the oldest girl too. You’re supposed to be looking after your younger siblings in your mother’s stead, but instead you’re always creating trouble.” The voice, harsh and scratchy, belonged to a walking contradiction called Roya. Despite her jolly appearance, the owner of the village tavern was one of the most obnoxious and disagreeable personalities in the clan.Ying fumbled to get herself off the ground, dusting away the flecks of dirt and snow that clung to her azure woolen robes and fur--lined boots. Picking up her broken wings, she smiled at her spectators as sweetly as a silver fox might.“How kind of you to show concern for my a--ma’s parenting methods. I’ll be sure to convey the message,” she said, turning to walk away. As the second child in a line of six and the eldest girl, there were certain expectations that the villagers would force upon her shoulders—-expectations she chose to willfully ignore.“Insolent brat,” Roya muttered loudly. “It’s no wonder no decent young man will take her for a wife.”Ying rolled her eyes. It was not the first time she’d heard things like that, whispered behind her back as if she could not hear them. She was infamous within the Aihui clan. Blessed by Abka Han with the beauty of a winter snowdrop, yet she received no love from the matchmakers. She was too odd—-they said—-and would not make a good wife. Were she not the daughter of the clan’s chieftain, she would have been expelled long ago.The superficial opinions of her clansmen meant little to Ying. Marriage had never been on her list of priorities anyway. She wanted a different future: one day, she would join the ranks of the masters in the hallowed halls of the Engineers Guild, where her father—-Aihui Shan--jin—-had once been.She weaved her way between the white tents to her father’s workshop at the western fringe of the village. It stood on its own, a lone sentry some distance away from the other dwellings. Some years back, an experiment gone awry had burned down the Aihui chieftain’s ger and two others beside it. After that, the clan folk unanimously voted to shift their leader’s den to where it wouldn’t cause collateral damage to anyone else.“A--ma!” she called loudly as she approached. It would thrill him to hear of her success. Her beloved father had always been her biggest supporter. She pushed open the door with a flourish. “I did it. I managed to—-”Her words dropped as she stepped into her father’s workshop. The place was in shambles, as if a violent sea storm had raged through and torn it asunder. His tools, usually neatly hung on their wooden rack, were scattered beside the toppled table; the glass receptacles he used to store various herbs were shattered, their contents strewn haphazardly amid broken shards; and his treasured books and scrolls, once meticulously arranged by topic on the many shelves, had been thrown onto the floor in disarray.And the person responsible for the catastrophe was still here.A figure clad in black, his face masked, revealing only a pair of narrow, menacing eyes, was digging through her father’s belongings. Across the man’s left eye was a reddened scar, twisted and gnarled, remnants of an old wound healed poorly.“What do you think you’re doing?” Ying shouted.The intruder dropped the book he had been flipping through and flicked his wrist in her direction. A flash of silver caught the light.A dart?Instinctively, Ying whipped out the fan that she always kept hidden in her sleeve and held it up in front of her face, its metallic silver leaf unfolding smoothly. A sharpclink and a dent appeared, followed by a metal dart landing on the floor amid the clutter.Flipping her fan horizontal, she tapped the rivet, and a flurry of small bamboo arrows shot out of the slim barrels built into the ribs.The trespasser leapt up into the air, using the shelves as footholds to propel himself sideways. Most of Ying’s arrows missed their mark, but one drove itself into the man’s left thigh. His pupils darted back and forth, surveying his options: there was only one exit to the ger, a red latticed door faded with age, and Ying was standing in front of it.Should have been more diligent with the upgrades, Ying thought as the man charged toward her. She had been meaning to improve the arrow--firing mechanism so it could hold more than one round, but procrastination and a slew of newer projects had rendered it forgotten. But she couldn’t think about that now. Slapping her fan shut, she jabbed it at the rogue’s eyes.Other than a few basic strokes of self--defense, Ying had not much in the way of combat skills, and it showed. She barely touched the fabric of the intruder’s sleeve before he struck her on the right shoulder with a forceful blow, sending her flying against a shelf.Gritting her teeth, Ying lunged after the man, who was already halfway out the door. Her fingers brushed his cloak, closing around something smooth and hard, like a pebble. But then she lost her balance, landing on the hard floor in a painful heap. The intruder disappeared into the dusk.She slammed her fist against the ground in frustration. How could she have let him escape like that? But when she opened her clenched fist, an oval jade pendant lay on her palm. Black like obsidian, there was an intricate carving of a dragon etched on one side, surrounded by the waves of the clouds up in the heavens.She hadn’t come away empty--handed after all.“Ying,” a soft voice called out.“A--ma?” Ying quickly clambered to her feet, looking around for her father.The chieftain of the Aihui clan was lying on the ground, his body crushed under the weight of one of the toppled shelves. A puddle of garish red pooled beneath him, seeping from the wound through which a gleaming blade remained stabbed.“A--ma,” Ying whispered, her voice trembling with fear as she stared at the blood. “What happened? We need to get you out of here.” She struggled to lift the fallen bookcase, but the weight of the wood was too much for her to bear. Despair and helplessness gripped her heart. “I’ll get help, I’ll—-”“Ying, don’t.” Her father mustered a sad smile, then pointed a finger across his workshop toward an octagonal lamp carved from sandalwood. It had been knocked onto the floor, partially obscured beneath large sheets of parchment. “Will you fetch that for me, please?” he asked shakily.Ying nodded, quickly running over to pick up the lamp.Her father had made it many years back as a gift for her mother. Every surface had been painstakingly carved to tell the story of how they had met, when Aihui Shan--jin was just a headstrong, self--assured young lad, and his wife--to--be a shy daughter of the village horse rancher. Since her mother’s death ten years ago, that lamp had sat on her father’s worktable, its subtle fragrance keeping him company while he toiled.“Let me get help,” Ying begged.The chieftain shook his head. “I haven’t got much time.” Reaching into the lamp, he lifted its wooden top and withdrew a leather--bound book and placed it carefully in Ying’s hand. Ying blinked, surprised that something had been hidden inside.“Tell no one you have this and do not look inside, do you understand?” he said with urgency impressed upon every word. “When you are alone—-burn it.”“What is this?”“Something that will bring about the downfall of our clan, and possibly the rest of the nine isles. I should never have agreed to be a part of this, but my mind—-and heart—-were not strong enough. This is the price of Abka Han’s displeasure. Do as I say, my most precious lamb, and promise me you will not hunt for the man who was here before. There are forces behind this that are far beyond our control. I would not rest in peace knowing that you are in danger.”Ying nodded, her eyes brimming with tears as she watched the life slowly seep away from her father’s warm brown eyes. “Tell E--niye I miss her,” she said, clutching on to her father’s callused hand.“You are so much like her, my child. But I pray that you will not walk down the same path that we have . . .”Aihui Shan--jin smiled, and then he closed his eyes for the eternal slumber.
“A richly detailed and wildly imaginative book with some of the coolest retro-future tech envisioned on-page and an engineer heroine with the smarts to wield it! The steampunk C-drama of my dreams.”—Xiran Jay Zhao, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Iron Widow

"Drawing on inspiration from Qing dynasty China to craft complex worldbuilding, debut author Chen employs vivid and sensory language to cleverly set the stage for Ying’s quest for answers—and revenge—in this gripping silkpunk fantasy that thrills from start to finish."—Publishers Weekly

"[An] absorbing, deftly written story . . . A fascinating world with twists that will keep readers enthralled."—Kirkus Reviews

"An excellent starting point for new YA readers."—Booklist

“A twisting adventure filled with wild devices, rebellions against the natural order of things, and the battle between creation and destruction.”—Chris Kluwe, Lightspeed Magazine
Amber Chen is a Singaporean-Chinese author of SFF and contemporary fiction. She spends much of her free time living within Chinese fantasy novels and dramas, and also drinks one too many cups of bubble tea. One of her webnovels, The Cutting Edge, has been adapted for television. You can find her online at ambercwrites.com and on TikTok, Instagram, and X @AmberWrites88. View titles by Amber Chen
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About

Mulan meets Iron Widow in this thrilling silkpunk fantasy about a girl who must disguise herself as a boy and enter the famed and dangerous Engineer’s Guild trials to unravel the mystery of her father’s murder.

Eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying dreams of becoming a world-class engineer like her father, but after his sudden murder, her life falls apart. Left with only a journal of her father’s engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, a heartbroken Ying follows the trail to the capital and the prestigious Engineers Guild—a place that harbors her father’s hidden past—determined to discover why anyone would threaten a man who ultimately chose a quiet life over fame and fortune. 

Disguised as her brother, Ying manages to infiltrate the guild’s male-only apprenticeship trial with the help of an unlikely ally—Aogiya Ye-yang, the taciturn eighth prince of the High Command. With her father’s renown placing a target firmly on her back, Ying must stay one step ahead of her fellow competitors, the jealous guild masters, and the killer still hunting for her father’s journal. Complicating everything is her increasingly tangled relationship with the prince, who may have mysterious plans of his own. 

The secrets concealed within the guild can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and with her life and the future of her homeland at stake, Ying doesn’t know who to trust. Can she avenge her father even if it means going against everything he stood for, or will she be next in the mastermind’s line of fire?

Excerpt

Chapter 1
Perched at the edge of a cliff, a tiny figure watched as a dark cloud floated toward her, accompanied by the thunderous whir of rotating engine blades.A furrow appeared on Aihui Ying’s smooth forehead.The High Commander’s airships were far noisier than they should be. It was a low--level problem that could have been easily fixed with mufflers fashioned out of bison leather. Her father’s hypothesis was that the guild masters had let this flaw slip through on purpose, because noise was apparently an effective show of intimidation.“Why stop there? Might as well make lightning bolts shoot out of the keel,” she muttered.The airships passed overhead. Two smaller ones in front and two behind, guarding the behemoth in the middle. Each of them was a black monstrosity emblazoned with the silver emblem of the cobra, bamboo--battened sails extending out from both sides of the hull and flapping majestically against the cold winds.In her childhood, Ying had once disturbed a sleeping lizard lounging on a rock to find out if it was dead. It awoke in a fury, brightly colored frills flaring from its neck in a spectacular display. That was where the Engineers Guild must have gotten their inspiration from, she reckoned, when they added those sails to the airships. Again, for intimidation more than functionality.“By decree of the High Commander,” a monotonous voice issued from above, “the Cobra’s Order is transporting a traitorous prisoner from the capital city to the mines of Juwan, where he is to serve his sentence till death. All civilian airships, keep away—-I repeat—-keep away.”Ying snorted, covering her ears with her gloved hands to shield them from the racket. Trust the High Commander to make an exhibition of his own son’s exile.Nevertheless, she had little sympathy for the former beile and High Commander–-designate. He had dug his grave by trying to incite conflict between his brothers and then having the gall to declare that he would execute everyone he deemed a threat once he assumed command. The story of his downfall had spread far and wide across the nine isles, no doubt with silent approbation by the authorities, as a warning to all who might threaten the stability of the Aogiya High Command.Once the airships had gone by, Ying focused her attention back on the task at hand. She was losing daylight, and while the night views of the Huarin isle were magical, landing was far more challenging in the dark. She tucked loose strands of hair behind her ears, adjusting the cloth band at the back of her head to make sure her bun was secured. Inhaling the frigid summer air, she stretched her hands out to the sides.“In Abka Han we trust.”She leaned forward, tipping her center of gravity over the edge of the cliff. Her body hurtled downward, the distance between her and the perilous rocks rapidly shrinking.A sprinkling of ocean spray kissed her cheeks—-and she sprang to action.Ying yanked at one of the colorful silk cords dangling off the bulky contraption strapped to her back. An enormous pair of wings unfolded, bamboo bones clicking as each segment snapped into place, stretching the thin silk fabric that lined the frame.The wings caught a gust of wind, sending their wearer flying upward and out.“Thank you!” she yelled to the sky, eyes glimmering with excitement as she soared above the waves. Abka Han, the god of the skies who watched over the Antaran territories, was probably sneering at her foolishness, but the proper respect still needed to be paid.Respectfulness she had learned from her mother; the foolhardy part was all from her father.Ying closed her eyes and basked in the serenity of her surroundings. The occasional cooing of gulls punctuated the soft humming of the waves. By the time she opened her eyes again, the circular white roofs of her village’s gers came into view, looking like tiny mushrooms sprouting amid the grass and snow. Farther in the distance, small specks of white and brown dotted the grasslands, the village’s many flocks of sheep, yak, and horse herds grazing peacefully. Tugging at the blue cord on her left, she adjusted her course so that she was now homebound.Before setting off, she had identified a clear patch of grass off the western edge of her village as her landing spot. She had even stuck a large red flag into the ground. But landing was more difficult than she’d imagined.Instead of sailing comfortably toward her flag, Ying lost the updraft midway over the cluster of gers. She was cutting it so close to the sloping roofs that she could see her bewildered clansmen pointing at her and hear their exclamations of incredulity.“Hi,” she yelled, waving stiffly, “just passing through—-”Then suddenly a wooden wind vane caught her right wing, mercilessly ripping through its sheer fabric. That marked the end of Ying’s little experiment. She smashed straight into the felt--lined roof of the ger before tumbling down the side and landing on the ground with a loud crash. The intricately carved wooden door of the circular tent swung open, revealing the perplexed faces of its occupants.A small crowd gathered around her, clucking with disapproval.“Look at you. Such a disgrace! How is it that the chieftain allows his daughter to run amok like a wild boar? To think you’re the oldest girl too. You’re supposed to be looking after your younger siblings in your mother’s stead, but instead you’re always creating trouble.” The voice, harsh and scratchy, belonged to a walking contradiction called Roya. Despite her jolly appearance, the owner of the village tavern was one of the most obnoxious and disagreeable personalities in the clan.Ying fumbled to get herself off the ground, dusting away the flecks of dirt and snow that clung to her azure woolen robes and fur--lined boots. Picking up her broken wings, she smiled at her spectators as sweetly as a silver fox might.“How kind of you to show concern for my a--ma’s parenting methods. I’ll be sure to convey the message,” she said, turning to walk away. As the second child in a line of six and the eldest girl, there were certain expectations that the villagers would force upon her shoulders—-expectations she chose to willfully ignore.“Insolent brat,” Roya muttered loudly. “It’s no wonder no decent young man will take her for a wife.”Ying rolled her eyes. It was not the first time she’d heard things like that, whispered behind her back as if she could not hear them. She was infamous within the Aihui clan. Blessed by Abka Han with the beauty of a winter snowdrop, yet she received no love from the matchmakers. She was too odd—-they said—-and would not make a good wife. Were she not the daughter of the clan’s chieftain, she would have been expelled long ago.The superficial opinions of her clansmen meant little to Ying. Marriage had never been on her list of priorities anyway. She wanted a different future: one day, she would join the ranks of the masters in the hallowed halls of the Engineers Guild, where her father—-Aihui Shan--jin—-had once been.She weaved her way between the white tents to her father’s workshop at the western fringe of the village. It stood on its own, a lone sentry some distance away from the other dwellings. Some years back, an experiment gone awry had burned down the Aihui chieftain’s ger and two others beside it. After that, the clan folk unanimously voted to shift their leader’s den to where it wouldn’t cause collateral damage to anyone else.“A--ma!” she called loudly as she approached. It would thrill him to hear of her success. Her beloved father had always been her biggest supporter. She pushed open the door with a flourish. “I did it. I managed to—-”Her words dropped as she stepped into her father’s workshop. The place was in shambles, as if a violent sea storm had raged through and torn it asunder. His tools, usually neatly hung on their wooden rack, were scattered beside the toppled table; the glass receptacles he used to store various herbs were shattered, their contents strewn haphazardly amid broken shards; and his treasured books and scrolls, once meticulously arranged by topic on the many shelves, had been thrown onto the floor in disarray.And the person responsible for the catastrophe was still here.A figure clad in black, his face masked, revealing only a pair of narrow, menacing eyes, was digging through her father’s belongings. Across the man’s left eye was a reddened scar, twisted and gnarled, remnants of an old wound healed poorly.“What do you think you’re doing?” Ying shouted.The intruder dropped the book he had been flipping through and flicked his wrist in her direction. A flash of silver caught the light.A dart?Instinctively, Ying whipped out the fan that she always kept hidden in her sleeve and held it up in front of her face, its metallic silver leaf unfolding smoothly. A sharpclink and a dent appeared, followed by a metal dart landing on the floor amid the clutter.Flipping her fan horizontal, she tapped the rivet, and a flurry of small bamboo arrows shot out of the slim barrels built into the ribs.The trespasser leapt up into the air, using the shelves as footholds to propel himself sideways. Most of Ying’s arrows missed their mark, but one drove itself into the man’s left thigh. His pupils darted back and forth, surveying his options: there was only one exit to the ger, a red latticed door faded with age, and Ying was standing in front of it.Should have been more diligent with the upgrades, Ying thought as the man charged toward her. She had been meaning to improve the arrow--firing mechanism so it could hold more than one round, but procrastination and a slew of newer projects had rendered it forgotten. But she couldn’t think about that now. Slapping her fan shut, she jabbed it at the rogue’s eyes.Other than a few basic strokes of self--defense, Ying had not much in the way of combat skills, and it showed. She barely touched the fabric of the intruder’s sleeve before he struck her on the right shoulder with a forceful blow, sending her flying against a shelf.Gritting her teeth, Ying lunged after the man, who was already halfway out the door. Her fingers brushed his cloak, closing around something smooth and hard, like a pebble. But then she lost her balance, landing on the hard floor in a painful heap. The intruder disappeared into the dusk.She slammed her fist against the ground in frustration. How could she have let him escape like that? But when she opened her clenched fist, an oval jade pendant lay on her palm. Black like obsidian, there was an intricate carving of a dragon etched on one side, surrounded by the waves of the clouds up in the heavens.She hadn’t come away empty--handed after all.“Ying,” a soft voice called out.“A--ma?” Ying quickly clambered to her feet, looking around for her father.The chieftain of the Aihui clan was lying on the ground, his body crushed under the weight of one of the toppled shelves. A puddle of garish red pooled beneath him, seeping from the wound through which a gleaming blade remained stabbed.“A--ma,” Ying whispered, her voice trembling with fear as she stared at the blood. “What happened? We need to get you out of here.” She struggled to lift the fallen bookcase, but the weight of the wood was too much for her to bear. Despair and helplessness gripped her heart. “I’ll get help, I’ll—-”“Ying, don’t.” Her father mustered a sad smile, then pointed a finger across his workshop toward an octagonal lamp carved from sandalwood. It had been knocked onto the floor, partially obscured beneath large sheets of parchment. “Will you fetch that for me, please?” he asked shakily.Ying nodded, quickly running over to pick up the lamp.Her father had made it many years back as a gift for her mother. Every surface had been painstakingly carved to tell the story of how they had met, when Aihui Shan--jin was just a headstrong, self--assured young lad, and his wife--to--be a shy daughter of the village horse rancher. Since her mother’s death ten years ago, that lamp had sat on her father’s worktable, its subtle fragrance keeping him company while he toiled.“Let me get help,” Ying begged.The chieftain shook his head. “I haven’t got much time.” Reaching into the lamp, he lifted its wooden top and withdrew a leather--bound book and placed it carefully in Ying’s hand. Ying blinked, surprised that something had been hidden inside.“Tell no one you have this and do not look inside, do you understand?” he said with urgency impressed upon every word. “When you are alone—-burn it.”“What is this?”“Something that will bring about the downfall of our clan, and possibly the rest of the nine isles. I should never have agreed to be a part of this, but my mind—-and heart—-were not strong enough. This is the price of Abka Han’s displeasure. Do as I say, my most precious lamb, and promise me you will not hunt for the man who was here before. There are forces behind this that are far beyond our control. I would not rest in peace knowing that you are in danger.”Ying nodded, her eyes brimming with tears as she watched the life slowly seep away from her father’s warm brown eyes. “Tell E--niye I miss her,” she said, clutching on to her father’s callused hand.“You are so much like her, my child. But I pray that you will not walk down the same path that we have . . .”Aihui Shan--jin smiled, and then he closed his eyes for the eternal slumber.

Praise

“A richly detailed and wildly imaginative book with some of the coolest retro-future tech envisioned on-page and an engineer heroine with the smarts to wield it! The steampunk C-drama of my dreams.”—Xiran Jay Zhao, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Iron Widow

"Drawing on inspiration from Qing dynasty China to craft complex worldbuilding, debut author Chen employs vivid and sensory language to cleverly set the stage for Ying’s quest for answers—and revenge—in this gripping silkpunk fantasy that thrills from start to finish."—Publishers Weekly

"[An] absorbing, deftly written story . . . A fascinating world with twists that will keep readers enthralled."—Kirkus Reviews

"An excellent starting point for new YA readers."—Booklist

“A twisting adventure filled with wild devices, rebellions against the natural order of things, and the battle between creation and destruction.”—Chris Kluwe, Lightspeed Magazine

Author

Amber Chen is a Singaporean-Chinese author of SFF and contemporary fiction. She spends much of her free time living within Chinese fantasy novels and dramas, and also drinks one too many cups of bubble tea. One of her webnovels, The Cutting Edge, has been adapted for television. You can find her online at ambercwrites.com and on TikTok, Instagram, and X @AmberWrites88. View titles by Amber Chen

Rights

Available for sale exclusive:
•     Guam
•     Minor Outl.Ins.
•     North Mariana
•     Philippines
•     Puerto Rico
•     Samoa,American
•     US Virgin Is.

Available for sale non-exclusive:
•     Afghanistan
•     Aland Islands
•     Albania
•     Algeria
•     Andorra
•     Angola
•     Anguilla
•     Antarctica
•     Argentina
•     Armenia
•     Aruba
•     Austria
•     Azerbaijan
•     Bahrain
•     Belarus
•     Belgium
•     Benin
•     Bhutan
•     Bolivia
•     Bonaire, Saba
•     Bosnia Herzeg.
•     Bouvet Island
•     Brazil
•     Bulgaria
•     Burkina Faso
•     Burundi
•     Cambodia
•     Cameroon
•     Cape Verde
•     Centr.Afr.Rep.
•     Chad
•     Chile
•     China
•     Colombia
•     Comoro Is.
•     Congo
•     Cook Islands
•     Costa Rica
•     Croatia
•     Cuba
•     Curacao
•     Czech Republic
•     Dem. Rep. Congo
•     Denmark
•     Djibouti
•     Dominican Rep.
•     Ecuador
•     Egypt
•     El Salvador
•     Equatorial Gui.
•     Eritrea
•     Estonia
•     Ethiopia
•     Faroe Islands
•     Finland
•     France
•     Fren.Polynesia
•     French Guinea
•     Gabon
•     Georgia
•     Germany
•     Greece
•     Greenland
•     Guadeloupe
•     Guatemala
•     Guinea Republic
•     Guinea-Bissau
•     Haiti
•     Heard/McDon.Isl
•     Honduras
•     Hong Kong
•     Hungary
•     Iceland
•     Indonesia
•     Iran
•     Iraq
•     Israel
•     Italy
•     Ivory Coast
•     Japan
•     Jordan
•     Kazakhstan
•     Kuwait
•     Kyrgyzstan
•     Laos
•     Latvia
•     Lebanon
•     Liberia
•     Libya
•     Liechtenstein
•     Lithuania
•     Luxembourg
•     Macau
•     Macedonia
•     Madagascar
•     Maldives
•     Mali
•     Marshall island
•     Martinique
•     Mauritania
•     Mayotte
•     Mexico
•     Micronesia
•     Moldavia
•     Monaco
•     Mongolia
•     Montenegro
•     Morocco
•     Myanmar
•     Nepal
•     Netherlands
•     New Caledonia
•     Nicaragua
•     Niger
•     Niue
•     Norfolk Island
•     North Korea
•     Norway
•     Oman
•     Palau
•     Palestinian Ter
•     Panama
•     Paraguay
•     Peru
•     Poland
•     Portugal
•     Qatar
•     Reunion Island
•     Romania
•     Russian Fed.
•     Rwanda
•     Saint Martin
•     San Marino
•     SaoTome Princip
•     Saudi Arabia
•     Senegal
•     Serbia
•     Singapore
•     Sint Maarten
•     Slovakia
•     Slovenia
•     South Korea
•     South Sudan
•     Spain
•     St Barthelemy
•     St.Pier,Miquel.
•     Sth Terr. Franc
•     Sudan
•     Suriname
•     Svalbard
•     Sweden
•     Switzerland
•     Syria
•     Tadschikistan
•     Taiwan
•     Thailand
•     Timor-Leste
•     Togo
•     Tokelau Islands
•     Tunisia
•     Turkey
•     Turkmenistan
•     Ukraine
•     Unit.Arab Emir.
•     Uruguay
•     Uzbekistan
•     Vatican City
•     Venezuela
•     Vietnam
•     Wallis,Futuna
•     West Saharan
•     Western Samoa
•     Yemen

Not available for sale:
•     Antigua/Barbuda
•     Australia
•     Bahamas
•     Bangladesh
•     Barbados
•     Belize
•     Bermuda
•     Botswana
•     Brit.Ind.Oc.Ter
•     Brit.Virgin Is.
•     Brunei
•     Canada
•     Cayman Islands
•     Christmas Islnd
•     Cocos Islands
•     Cyprus
•     Dominica
•     Falkland Islnds
•     Fiji
•     Gambia
•     Ghana
•     Gibraltar
•     Grenada
•     Guernsey
•     Guyana
•     India
•     Ireland
•     Isle of Man
•     Jamaica
•     Jersey
•     Kenya
•     Kiribati
•     Lesotho
•     Malawi
•     Malaysia
•     Malta
•     Mauritius
•     Montserrat
•     Mozambique
•     Namibia
•     Nauru
•     New Zealand
•     Nigeria
•     Pakistan
•     PapuaNewGuinea
•     Pitcairn Islnds
•     S. Sandwich Ins
•     Seychelles
•     Sierra Leone
•     Solomon Islands
•     Somalia
•     South Africa
•     Sri Lanka
•     St. Helena
•     St. Lucia
•     St. Vincent
•     St.Chr.,Nevis
•     Swaziland
•     Tanzania
•     Tonga
•     Trinidad,Tobago
•     Turks&Caicos Is
•     Tuvalu
•     USA
•     Uganda
•     United Kingdom
•     Vanuatu
•     Zambia
•     Zimbabwe

ICYMI: Cover Reveals! September 2023

Welcome to this month’s installment of the PRH international Sales website! ICYMI: Cover Reveals is a round-up of all the exciting cover reveals announced in the last month. In this month’s post, the anticipated sequel to Kika Hatzopoulou’s Threads That Bind, Amber Chen’s silkpunk fantasy Of Jade and Dragons, Jonathan van Ness’s Gorgeously Me! and much, much more!

Read more