When a spell saves her life by sending her to her mother's homeland, Estyria finds herself in a world she'd believed to exist solely in bedtime stories – a realm where gods walk the earth, magic is real, and political intrigue strikes close and hard.
As Scion to a noble House and caught in a competition for the throne, she has mere weeks to learn to navigate the murky waters of court and tangled loyalties.
More than a crown and the well-being of a country is at stake. Two men are bound to her by destiny and their fates depend upon her choices. Sethalor, who holds secrets and memories lost to her, vows to defy the very gods to keep her safe. Aedrian, who agreed to protect her out of love for his prince, but comes to see in her a ruler he would give his soul to protect.
Through assassinations, poison and shifting alliances, can Estyria keep the realm, her heart and the people she loves safe?
I found this book by accident. I follow author Jeannie Lin on twitter (amongst other places), and she tweeted about finding this book thanks to the author tweeting about her book. Now anyone who knows me knows of my love of asian dramas, in particular the sub genre known as "wuxia"...or honestly any asian drama that involves gorgeous clothes, historical time period and at least ONE kick ass chick who slaps around the male love interest. I blame Michelle Yeoh for this by the way.
As the author notes PHOENIX CHOSEN is not a wuxia - this isn't a martial arts fantasy. This is straight up fantasy. Which hey not complaining about that at all. In terms of comparison this is very like Juuni Kokki (or The Twelve Kingdoms) in that it focuses on a young girl, tossed into the political intrigue and violence of a Kingdom searching for its leader, who previously was (at best) mediocre at all things. Through quick wits, a touch of recklessness and some damn loyal compatriots, things sort of kind of work out in her favor.
If you blink and look sideways.
Estyria, affectionately known as Phoenix, is having a rough run of luck. Her life is pretty aimless, her love life is well non-existent and she just got hit by a mini van...who's driver sped away. She awakens to a field straight out of some Chinese drama, next to a guy who she doesn't know and soon falls unconscious after another guy threatens her life.
All in all its not what you'd call a stellar first impression of things.
Really she takes things very well considering. Once its all laid out to her she becomes pretty determined and while she holds it against Sethalor and Aedrian, that's hardly her fault. One seems to alternately despise her and be attracted to her, while the other definitely is attracted to her, but is almost resentful that she can't remember him.