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Fox and Phoenix

Fox and Phoenix

3.0 2
by Beth Bernobich

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“One cool, lively, exciting book set in a unique new world I loved it!” –Tamora Pierce
The king of Lóng City is dying. For Kai Zou, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king’s daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost


“One cool, lively, exciting book set in a unique new world I loved it!” –Tamora Pierce
The king of Lóng City is dying. For Kai Zou, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king’s daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost dragons orders Kai to travel across the country to the Phoenix Empire, where the princess is learning statecraft. Kai and his best friend Yún must endure a grueling trek, placate a persnickety griffin, and navigate layers of danger and court intrigue to help the princess escape and return to Lóng City.
A refreshing mixture of magic, wit, and action, Fox and Phoenix is an auspicious YA debut.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 7–9—Set in a magical realm in China, Beth Bernobeck's adventure fantasy (Viking, 2011) features two bold characters, friends of their country's Princess Lian, who has gone to another kingdom to study. When her father falls seriously ill and she fails to respond to messages to come home, a ghost dragon summons Kai, the princess's friend, to find her and bring her home. Kai is a reluctant hero who is still trying to discover why his mother has disappeared and the nature of his relationship with her best student, Yun. When Kai discovers that Yun has followed him on his quest, he is annoyed at first, but their mutual support is necessary for their survival. There is more than one romance in this story as the Princess has also been involved with someone whom she feels has betrayed her. Through many mishaps, the friends are reunited and make their way home to unravel treachery at the palace and abroad. Narrator Michael Sun Lee gives all the human and animal characters distinct voices and appropriate accents. An engaging fantasy.—Edie Ching, The University of Maryland, College Park
Children's Literature - Allison Fetters
With the emperor falling ill, Long City has changed. This change is felt by everyone, but business and lifecontinue as usualeven though everythingfeels a bit strained. Kai, a student in his mother's magic school in Long City, is an ordinary teenager with typical responsibilities. He is known for being a bit lazy with his studies and with other tasks assigned to him, but this has not been an issue until his mother mysteriously disappears. Shortly after this, he is assigned a very important mission by a ghost dragon he encounters one night as he is rushing home. He must travel a long distance to the Phoenix Empire to notify Princess Lian of her father's illness. In the meantime, he hopes to also discover the truth behind his mother's disappearance. At first, he is afraid he must go it alone until he is accompanied by his good friend, Yun. Together they accomplish what they set out to do. This is a delightful story of friendship and doing what is required for the good of others even when you must sometimes make sacrifices. Reviewer: Allison Fetters
VOYA - Liz Sundermann
The king of Long city has fallen deeply and mysteriously ill. Neither medicine nor magic can cure him, and his daughter and princess-heir, Lian, is away at university and not responding to any contact attempts. Political unrest is at hand, and the only person who may be able to help is a former street rat named Kai. Accompanied by their spirit-guides and a re-animated griffin, Kai and his friend (and secret crush), Yun, set out on the dangerous journey to Phoenix City to tell Lian of her father's illness and convince her to return to her kingdom. The characters and creatures in this book are interesting and believable; the plot is a compelling mixture of adventure, mystery, and fantasy. The most remarkable element, however, is the world Beth Bernobich has created. The land is entirely fictional, but is built on a Chinese foundation; the author goes so far as to incorporate a few Chinese words into the action sequences. There is use of both traditional folk magic and futuristic high-tech magic gear. This book will delight male and female middle school fantasy readers. Reviewer: Liz Sundermann
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Drawing on Chinese language and mythology, Bernobich has created a new and exciting fantasy world. In a land where magic is a rare and coveted commodity and is the current that runs the technology, 16-year-old Kai Zou begrudgingly works in his mother's tutoring shop as an apprentice in conjuration and math. The King of Lóng City falls ill and his daughter, a friend of Kai's, seems to be out of communication's reach in a far-off city. At the command of the mysterious ghost dragon king, Kai and his friend Yún set off on the treacherous journey to deliver the news to the princess. Sophisticated readers should have no problem catching up with the tale as they join the characters and learn their backstories. While this device may be confusing at times, it makes the surprises that much more fun. A peckish griffin, a missing mother, young love, a double-crossing stranger, and a former friend who may be a smuggler add to the action, danger, and intrigue.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
Kirkus Reviews

A ghost dragon sends Kai and his spirit pig on a quest to rescue the princess of a cyberpunk China-analogue.

Kai's grown apart from his friends since the adventure that brought him money and the friendship of Princess Lian. At least he still sees his best friend Yún daily during their shared apprenticeship, but he can't talk to her without arguing. Now the king of Lóng City is gravely ill, the magic flux powering the city's talk-phones and electronics is failing and Kai's mother is missing. His unwilling quest to save the day takes Kai across the Seventy Kingdoms all the way to the mysterious Phoenix Empire. It's a good thing Yún joins him, because Kai simply isn't clever enough to deal with all the bureaucracy the journey entails, from taxes to passports. They travel by foot, pony and luxurious train to find Princess Lian, who can surely help them. As an adventurer, Kai is on the passive side and tends to let the world happen to him, but this is a minor quibble. He also frequently refers to the adventure that brought him together with his now-estranged friends, but since those events were from a short story ("Pig, Crane, Fox: Three Hearts Unfolding" from the fantasy anthology Magic in the Mirrorstone, edited by Steve Berman, 2008), readers are more likely to be frustrated then familiar.

Overall, the blurred magic/technology boundary gives a compelling flavor to an adventure well worth reading. (Fantasy/cyberpunk. 13-15)

Product Details

Listening Library, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library CD
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Beth Bernobich (www.beth-bernobich.com) lives in Bethany, Connecticut.

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Fox and Phoenix 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is quite different...but a very fun read. Bernobich created a great world full of magic, dragons, bad guys, unlikely heroes, and an adorable twice dead stuffed griffin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book that will start a new fire in your imagination.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the beginning is a bit wonky, but its ok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago