“Serpentine” by Cindy Pon


Somebody on Instagram asked me what I thought of Serpentine by Cindy Pon and I said it was “fresh, beautifully written, and different.” How many books can you say that about? I read books every week that remind me of other books. Not so with Serpentine. It made me feel like I took a book-vacation from the ordinary.

The setting for Serpentine is the fictional Kingdom of Xia. It’s been a long time since I took an Asian history course at U.C.S.D, but the novel does seem historically inspired.

Serpentine tells the story of Skybright, a handmaiden with a secret to hide. She’ll do anything to protect her best friend and mistress, Zhen Ni, even if it means braving the forest, battling bad guys, or turning her back on the only boy she’s ever loved. It’s hard to say anything more about Serpentine without giving up a MAJOR REVEAL. It’s a moment that comes early on in the book that makes you go “Wh-a-a-a-a-t?” The rest of the book builds from that new information in a really exciting way.

You won’t get any spoilers from me! But I will say this, at its heart, Serpentine is a book about loyalty, sisterhood, and love. It’s the perfect girl-power read.

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