Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.
When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
This was a book I kinda picked up an a whim. I was looking at the DivertyinYA Tumblr page and the story looked interesting. Growing up I was always interested in ancient Chinese mythology and the premise really interested me.
I liked this book. While it was on the short side, (mainly because the last few books I read was very long) it did have an engaging story. I liked the setting which was in Ancient China which you really don’t see in YA or the fantasy genre.
Skybright is a very good protagonist, I like her relationship with her mistress Zhen Li, which she sees as more of the sister and you could see that they care about each other. It also was good to see than Zhen Li was an LGBTQIA character, which is also something that you don’t see in a lot of mainstream YA, and while she was a supporting character it was just something that was touched upon, especially in the setting of Ancient China, hopefully future books will further dive into that theme.
I also liked her relationship with Kai Sen, who his a sort of Monk in training. They had some good scenes and you could see that they care about each other and the relationship built up gradually rather than being forced.
I also of course liked the Ancient China setting and story. The main plot is was of demons going into the mortal world and the monks acting as guardians of that world. While some of the plot lines were very predictable it did make for an engaging and I wanted to see hat was happening to the characters. I would have liked to to the see dive a little bit into the mythology, because Chinese mythology could make for interesting themes in the book and I think the world building could have been better and go into how life was Ancient China.
In the end I thought this was a very interesting book. It had good characters and had a great setting that made for a good read. I want to see what more the author has to offer and see more of this series.