ARC Review: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

*I was given a copy of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to HarperCollins and Amélie Wen Zhao*


In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past – and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic new fantasy duology inspired by Chinese mythology.

Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.

No one can see the mysterious mark, an untranslatable Hin character, except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life.

Zen is a practitioner – one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumoured to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.

Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.


I’m always excited to delve into a new fantasy world and the one of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night did not disappoint.

I absolutely have to start out this review by complimenting the cover. Look at it, absolutely gorgeous. 

I love learning about new worlds and their magic systems and this one is definitely interesting. The two different ‘magics’ were so different, but both intriguing in their own ways. They are super easy to grasp and the more you learn about them the more invested you are in the story. 

If you are interested in Song of Silver, Flame Like Night because it is being marketed as a romance, you are being misled. There is one tiny moment that could be called romantic. Throughout the book, you get the feeling that two specific characters are going to have feelings for each other, but this is not the main theme of the book. 

Lan was a great main character as she was super witty and determined. The only thing that annoyed me about her character was that she would often use insults that seemed entirely out of place, but they were funny all the same.

There are so many interesting characters in this book and the way we see them and their relationships change and grow throughout the course of the book was very well done. I can’t wait to see what adventures and misfortune they get up to in the next instalment.

The first half of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night was very slow. There is a ton of worldbuilding and history you need to know, but after a while, it gets a bit much. Thankfully once you reach around halfway it starts to pick up and the set-up for the next book is really good. But you could tell that a lot of what’s happening in this book is a set-up for number two. Not that there is anything wrong with that, there was tons of action near the end and some character development, so you aren’t wasting your time.

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. The magic was interesting, the plot was filled with action and the characters were extremely likeable. If you are looking for a new fantasy world to get lost in I would definitely recommend Song of Silver, Flame Like Night.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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