Book Reviews

Review: Of Jade and Dragons by Amber Chen

We’re talking about engineering, magical powers, and guilds. Of Jade and Dragons gave me a steampunk vibe. I felt like I could have fallen into the world. If you love immersive unique magical worlds, Of Jade and Dragons has to be on your list. Keep reading this book review of Of Jade and Dragons for my full thoughts.


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?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I cannot get over the world of Of Jade and Dragons. This reminds me of the trials and competitions from A Magic Steeped in Poison combined with steampunk and secrets about Ying’s father. There are disguises, deadly and dangerous trials, and quick learning. Chen’s debut balances a mysterious plotline of secrets with dangerous magical team building – and destroying – activities.

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We love a resourceful main character and Ying is consistently forced to act on her feet. She’s going into a world of privilege, knowledge, and inner sanctums. While I felt like the middle lost me a bit in terms of the balance between trials and larger world building/development, I deeply enjoyed these magical trials and Ying as a character. I love this silkpunk world which examines what war means to everyone involved and the compromises necessary.

Find Of Jade and Dragons on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, Blackwells, & Libro. fm.


What is your favorite silkpunk world?

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