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Fox and Phoenix (Lóng City #1)

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  438 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
The king of Long City is dying. For Kai Zu, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king's daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost dragons orders Kai to travel across the country to the Phoenix Empire, where the princess is learning statecraft. In a court filled with intrigue ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Viking Children's
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(showing 1-30)
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Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

It's been months since street lord Kai Zou and his second-in-command, Yún Chang, have helped Princess Lian Song Li achieve her heart's desire and won the prize of favor (and money) from the King of Lóng City...but nothing is going quite the way Kai had hoped. Instead of living a rich, luxurious lifestyle Kai somehow finds himself a failing wizard apprentice to his formidable mother. Instead of enjoying the company of his best friend - who could possibly b
At the beginning of this story I was lost. I was reading what felt like a sequel, but after double checking, I couldn't find another book that came before. Supposedly, this was the first in a new series. Only after I finished the book and read some reviews (which I never do before, way too many ways to spoil my reading experience) did I find out that this story was indeed a sequel to a short story published with several others. Okay. This kind of colored my reading, but I tried to get over it an ...more
Emily Collins
Dec 16, 2011 Emily Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book failed to mention one thing to me, which became blatantly apparent in only the first couple pages.
It is a sequel.
I used to be horrible at this. I would always pick up a book off the shelf that was a sequel to something, and not realize until I got home and either was completely confused when I started reading it, or would look inside the cover and it would say that it was a sequel to so-and-so. So I got extremely careful when choosing books. I always make sure that what I am getting do
Abandoned after reading 9% of the lot, 1) because of the bratty, bragging hero and 2) because I felt cheated/at loss/demented due to the fact that I wasn't informed that this is a series that really starts counting at zero, and that volume one is the sequel, in which a famous trickster hero had to learn to live a normal life, doing normal household chores and getting the girl of his dreams by being a friend instead of just being as male as possible. Duh.
Shannon Kitchens
Once upon a stupid time, I liked Fairy Tales.

Ai-ya, what's not to like? .... And they never tell you how your heart's desire might be a dangerous thing.

Or in my case, just so damn boring.

When I picked up Fox and Phoenix and read that opener, I was hooked. This was the story of a former fairy tale hero, and what became of him. This was going to be amazing!

Alas, Fox and Phoenix did not live up to my expectations. The story never became the story I wanted or hoped for. And it never became somet
I’ve been slowly reading my way through every Beth Bernobich novel and story, and while FOX & PHOENIX may not be my favorite, it’s definitely a book I want to keep on my bookshelf (and not just because it’s pretty). Unfortunately, as I write this, it seems to be out of print, but it is still available as an e-book. This novel is ambitious and I think the author took great care to tell her story. It feels like she cares about her characters, because instead of making them perfect, she made th ...more
Sydney Gorelick
In Fox & Phoenix, by Beth Bernobich, two apprentices of magic in a magical, imperial asian setting, are out to find the princess. Her father, the king, is sick with a deadly disease, and the princess is the only one who can save him.
I think this book falls into the category of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, in that it is based off of Japanese mythology, at least loosely. Every person has a spirit companion, and that strikes me as quite like Imperial Japanese mythology. The magic system in
Jayme Swallow
Jul 30, 2012 Jayme Swallow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So I started reading fox and Phoenix by Beth Bernobich, and I was a little lost, right off the bat. So I'm like, okay, it's a fantasy novel, I'll give it some time. But it just never kicked in. I was halfway through the book and I didn't understand anything. It was super scattered and everything was new and nothing was explained as far as her invented terminology and world, and there were references to a past adventure of sorts. So I start to think, "Hey, did I pick up a sequel?" and scan the co ...more
Jun 29, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Excellent story! It took me a bit to warm up to the main character but I really liked the world building, the eastern-inspired cultures and set up and interesting plot so I kept going.

Lots of fun things going on - ghost dragons sending the main on a quest to help the dying king, miniature zombie griffin who needs magic to stay alive and is able to weild magic himself, a princess being held against her will, the use of electrical type terms and devices powered by magic similar to electricity here
Karyn Silverman
3.75, let's say. Really unusual fantasy, with a Bordertown feel-- magic allows for lots of stuff that in our world is technology, and the magic flux operates almost like electricity. The Asian influence was fresh--like Eon, this takes it and transforms it. But while I'd certainly pass this on to someone who liked Eon for the Asian flavor, it's a totally different book. I did find myself wanting to read the first book, but actually this IS book 1; Kai references earlier adventures that seem like ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Pestozesto rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-kids, fantasy
I accidentally read this without reading the first book in the series, but I actually don't feel like I missed too much. The protagonist gives you enough of a background in flashbacks, I think.

He's kind of annoying and whiny, and he is always complaining about how expensive something is, but deep down I think he's a good kid. I liked the world here - a little bit inconsistent, but if you don't think about it too hard, it all works out. You've got magic, machines, intrigue, food, all in an Asian-
Jul 28, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
you know, it would have been WONDERFUL if it mentioned somewhere, ANYWHERE on this book that this was the sequal in a series. no wonder i felt like i was getting half the story and NOTHING was explained properly. i'm sorry to give this a low rating, but i guess i might enjoy it better after i read the first book....
Jun 10, 2014 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Tamora Pierce has a cover quote indicating that she loved this, and yet her Goodreads rating for it is only four out of five stars. What am I getting into?!
Update: couldn't get into it. The story had potential , but the character development was poor. I didn't care about them at all.
Fox and Phoenix had an intriguing world that combined magic and technology and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, as the story progressed, the less I liked Kai. So, I stopped listening to the story, but the narration was pretty good.
It'd have been four stars if it hadn't felt weirdly like I was reading book two in a series. Which, as it turns out, I was reading a book that uses previous events from a short story. Word of advice? Let your reader know that. It drove me fucking insane.
May 10, 2013 Sandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started this, but quickly became bored out of my mind with endless world-building and minimal plot and character development. Gave up quick.
Sep 23, 2014 Shay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Just couldn't get into this.
Jul 19, 2014 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very confusing, I always felt like I had entered a movie halfway through.
Chris Evans
The world is decent, but I'm afraid it's a bit dull. It became a slog to finish towards the end.
I can see why this book got the green light to be published--you don't often see a modern fantasy/steampunk world based in Chinese culture rather than European. The concept alone is enough to get a look, and the story isn't a bad one. The worldbuilding is done fairly well and is the highlight of the book.
The plot is nothing particularly unique and at times delves into predictable. The biggest problem is that it feels like the sequel to a book that doesn't exist rather than the first book in a se
Nov 28, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, for half stars. This might've made 3 1/2-stars... I liked it a lot, but some flaws kept me from REALLY liking it. What is it these days with series skipping over book 1 and plunking you straight into the middle of a series? There's a reason we get all that getting-to-know-you stuff, and I felt kind of shortchanged on it in this book.

Fox and Phoenix begins *after* a happily ever after. Kai Zou was once the King of the Street Rats. With the help of his street gang, he tricked his way past the
This was a solid first book. It had interesting characters and scenery, but it was too short. Nothing was truly explained fully and it ended way too abruptly. Also, if this is book one, where is book two? It has been 6 years.
Kelli Lee
Upon flipping open the pages of Fox & Phoenix, I felt like I was some kind of interloper. Kai (protagonist) was going on and on about his adventures with Yún and Princess Lian. And it wasn’t going on and on in a regaling fashion, if felt more like I joined the party late and revelers were in the midst of remember-whens and you-should’ve-been-theres. “Remember when Yún did that thing . . .?” “Oh yeah. That was great. Oh, oh, oh remember when we were almost caught?” “Yeah, but remember when we ...more
Sarah Rosenberger
Strange things are happening in the land of the Seventy Kingdoms. The magic flux that runs through the land is disappearing, there are whispers of courtly plots and machinations, and the King of Long City is dying of a suspicious disease. Sixteen-year-old Kai is no stranger to adventure...Last year he and his friends helped Princess Lian find her heart's desire, winning her friendship in the process. When a ghost dragon tells Kai he must travel to the Phoenix Empire to tell Lian about her father ...more
Mary Mackie
Sep 15, 2016 Mary Mackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed it! Looks like it will be another good series. Young adult literature, but snags adult attention, too.
Feb 14, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not something I see or read in this case everyday. Mainly because this fantasy world is inspired by multiple cultures, but especially by Asian myth and philosophy. The idea that technology is run not by electricity but by magical fluctuations (known by the magic-users as "chi" also) is just thoroughly amazing. I found the concept of having a spirit animal guide also intriguing. It reminds me of elements seen in shamanism or of the daemon's concept from the His Dark Materials series. I found the ...more
World-building was cute at first, with the china-ish-ness, magic tech, tutoring shop and tea snacks, but then it went into quest-adventure story, and that's not really my cup of tea. The protagonist was sort of bland compared to his friends. Still glad that it was much, much better than other ~asian-inspired~ fantasy books I've read lately, so there's that.

So the names/exclamations/some phrases ended up being this wade-giles on crack sort of thing?? And some ph
C. McGannon
3.5 I'm rounding up.
Fox and Phoenix was a great little story. I think what stood out to me most was the wonderful world building. Everything about the world of Long City and the Phoenix Empire (and everything lying in between) was very well fleshed out and felt like a plausible history. I loved the mix of magic and tech, and especially loved the kinda old, kinda new setting in which this interesting and fresh blend is created.
Now for the characters. Reading other reviews, I don't unde
May 13, 2016 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My biggest complaint about this book is the fact that author has either A) constructed SO much back story in her own head that this book feels like a second book in a series B) she really did write a first book but it didn't get published or C) the publishers actually published the wrong book. ha!
I had to check several times to see if this book was really the first in the series because the main character refers to very specific events that happened before the book began. Agghh it was kind of fr
El Rey de Long City está muriendo. Kai Zu, antiguo principe de las calles tiene la mision de atravezar un vasto territorio lleno de peligros naturales, magicos, asesinos, bandoleros y traidores para encontrar a la hija del Rey y traerla antes de que usurpen el trono.
Después de la ultima aventura, cuando logran ganar un concurso por la mano de la princesa y una gran suma de dinero, todo el grupo de compinches de Kai se han dedicado a forjar sus propios proyectos. Ahora, se reunen para esta nueva
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Beth Bernobich is a writer, reader, mother, and geek. She loves to tell stories.
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