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Dark Serpent (Celestial Battle, #1)
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Dark Serpent (Celestial Battle #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  925 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
John and Emma head to Wales to try and work out who — or what — Emma is. But rather than providing a clear path to their long hoped-for marriage the answer could tear them apart forever. Emma will be forced to betray either John, her beloved Xuan Wu, or her past and birthright. To make matters worse, John’s celestial home at Wudangshan is under attack from the Demon King. ...more
Paperback, AUS/NZ edition, 469 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Harper Voyager
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(showing 1-30)
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May 08, 2013 Tegan rated it liked it
After a very long two year wait I have to say I was bored. Kylie's style for each book is exactly the same. This book is basically a repeat of events with a different story line. A huge yawn...very disappointing.
Dec 31, 2012 Kara-karina rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
UPD: Re-read 2 years later wasn't as bad, but I will leave the original review as it is.


I honestly think this series is losing its steam, and it makes me quite upset.

Kylie Chan writes in trilogies, but don't get confused, - this is a 3rd trilogy in the same series about the same characters. Why can't it be the same series book #7, I wonder? Anyway, first three books were brilliant, absolutely brilliant. With the second three I was suffering from withdrawal from the first three and I rea
Apr 23, 2014 Dianne rated it did not like it
Shelves: galleys-arcs
After so many books and so many years of Emma and John fighting the same things repeatedly, I find that it is time for me to bid adieu to this series. I would have liked to have read about Simone fully grown and reaching her fullest immortality and potential, but this series has become a bit too complicated and redundant for me at this time. I find that when I am looking forward to finishing the book quickly and skimming most of it) rather than wanting to eke it out page by page, slowly like sip ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Annie rated it it was amazing
"Religion doesn't lead to deaths... It's the cruel people who twist the teachings into something cruel and poisonous... Seems to happen all the time, humans twist meaning to suit their own agendas..." #favouritequote

Oh the feels!!! What a fantastic first instalment for the final Celestial Battle trilogy.. You go through a roller coaster of emotion in an action packed story.. Although there was a bit of time since I read the last trilogy, this book was just so easy to immerse myself in.. Loved th
May 07, 2013 Georgia rated it really liked it
I Love this series and Get seriously depressed when I finish one and have to wait over a year until the next one is released!
Also I'm so glad that we know what Emma is now because that was getting dragged out so long, I was so tired of her asking everyone she met if they knew what she was.
Nov 15, 2013 prk rated it it was ok
Shelves: aurealis-awards
Sent to Wales to investigate what's happening in the Western Celestial Plane, Emma begins to discover more about her past, only to find she's not at all welcome in her ancestral homeland.

John is determined to keep Emma safe and fulfil the prophecy to find, raise and marry her, but the Demon King has other plans, and a definite advantage.

When I first picked up this book, I was pleased to see it was the first in a trilogy, assuming that I wouldn't need any back-story to get into it. I was wrong -
Apr 29, 2015 Faye rated it it was amazing
Love this series. Love Kylie Chan hope there is a new book soon.
May 07, 2013 Estara rated it it was ok
Recommended to Estara by: a guilty pleasure with the fact that an Australian heroine is at the center, but in the last volume a lot changed.
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2013 Marianne rated it really liked it
Dark Serpent is the eighth novel by Australian author, Kylie Chan, and is the first book in the Celestial Battle Trilogy. It follows on immediately from the last book of the Journey to Wudang Trilogy, Heaven to Wudang. Xuan Wu’s Snake is still captive in the Demon King’s grasp, and numerous efforts are made to free it. But then an edict from the Jade Emperor sends John and Emma, along with their Welsh visitors, Brian and Tom O’Breen, to Britain to investigate what is happening in the Western Cel ...more
Oct 09, 2013 Jeffrey rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who have read the previous volumes
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2014
The Dark Lord has promised to find Emma, raise her, and marry her. But before they can do that, the Jade Emperor has banned her from acting in a official capacity and tasked the two of them to venture to the West to determine the fate of the occidental shen. What they will discover leads not only to Emma's origins, but to the ultimate scheme of the nefarious Demon King.

Much like the beginning of her last trilogy Earth to Hell,Kylie Chan throws you in the deep end without much more than a cursory
Jun 30, 2013 Hailey rated it really liked it
I picked up this book when I was in the CBD earlier in the day. I started reading it when I got home and didn't put it down until I had finished it, 5 hours later!

The book is a refreshing change from much of the popular fiction of today; it doesn't try to do too much. Chan delivers something genuine, something which kept me hooked from the first page until the last.

Sure the character voice isn't all that it could be, and the language used is not even close to the literary standards set by visio
Matteo Wong
Sep 16, 2013 Matteo Wong rated it it was amazing
Dark Serpent, by Kylie Chan, is the first book in the final trilogy about Emma and Lord Xuan Wu. Xuan Wu is the Chinese good of darkness and martial arts, and he has promised to marry Emma. They both possess incredible fighting capabilities, and they must use these to defend Earth and Heaven from evil demon plots. But in this book, Xuan Wu and Emma are separated, and they must find each other in the Western Heavens, far from Xuan Wu's center of power, the Easter Heavens. This story also has two ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Madison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
I must admit I was annoyed about this book. It was meant to be the conclusion to the series and now it is to be a Trilogy so I was a tad annoyed that the series was not going to end sooner rather than later.
This is a series that really has polarized my reading friends. You either like Kylie Chan's writing style or it annoys you.
Fotunately for me I enjoy the whole demon thing and it doesnt remind me of the Twilight crfaze at all.
I also love dragons and wanted to see a bit more in this book.
Jenny Delandro
May 07, 2013 Jenny Delandro rated it it was ok
I started reading and it was almost the same storyline with changes to the characters acting parts ... skipped and nothing was new...
only one redeeming thing is actually only my imagination..
(view spoiler)
No body cares: Demon
Sep 17, 2013 Krystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: light-fantasy
Quite difficult to pick up the story where it left off as it's been so long between books and this series doesn't bother with recaps. However once you get into the swing of things again it's that same non-stop action that we know and love. For that reason I really enjoyed it at a fast pace, but at the same time it didn't feel like anything particularly new. It's the same fantastic characters (though not nearly enough Bai Hu for my liking) kicking ass and traveling to exotic places, but I also fe ...more
Nicole C
Jun 15, 2013 Nicole C rated it really liked it
Though this is the first book of the third trilogy of this story, it was great to read about familiar characters and wasn't repetitive at all. The previous trilogy left me feeling frustrated because I felt that the story was never ending. I definitely feel (hope) that this is the last trilogy as the story feels like it is coming to an end. It is definitely getting interesting again -- the previous trilogy felt a bit draggy.
However, I had forgotten details and was wondering when certain things h
Erin Mary Coulter
Apr 08, 2014 Erin Mary Coulter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I feel like I was waiting for this book forever, and it really lived up to my expectations. When I first started reading it, the tone of the book, particularly at the beginning, felt a little different, but half-way through I changed my mind. I loved that the point of views changed from Emma to John, though switching between first-person and third-person was a little confusing at times as I expected it to be first-person because that was how all the other books had been written.

The beginning I f
Mar 11, 2013 Louise rated it it was ok
Shelves: great-covers
Although I absolutely love this series, this book was extremely dissapointing. It had to many references to current fads (such as game of thrones). It also went from weird to disturbing to just plain nonsense within about five pages of the other. Emma as a character had been thrown from one hellish pit to another and she still ends up with Xuan Wu... talk about Bella Swan syndrome. Basically, this book was well and truly disappointing. One and a half stars.
Although I love this series I feel I may be experiencing series overload with the dark heavens. Some of the storyline a are repetitive and the interplay between human name, Chinese/mythical name and nickname are getting confusing as there are now so many characters and remembering who is who and how the relate to the story is getting difficult too but it may be because if the huge time between books. I will be continuing on as I really want to see how it all ends.
Amy Heap
Jun 13, 2013 Amy Heap rated it it was ok
This series was recommended to me by a friend who loves to read, but doesn't read the types of books I do. This was the first series she gave me that I have enjoyed. The writing is not great, many characters have the same voice and the word 'damn' is used in almost every exchange in the book! Still, the plot is engaging and the setting and mythology interesting. I found this story less thrilling than the ones that came before but I still would like to know how it all finishes.
Fiona Burgess
Jan 27, 2013 Fiona Burgess rated it it was amazing
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. (I have heard people put these books and the author down as poor). I wonder how two people can go through so much and still have more to achieve before they can find happiness in their love for each other. I have grown very fond of the characters and enjoy the twist and turns Kylie has in place to make sure the reader does not become complacent and bored. I personally cannot wait for the next book. Here's hoping George gets what he deserves!
Richard Harrison
Jul 01, 2015 Richard Harrison rated it really liked it
Gains a bonus star for finishing the mystery of the main character's lineage. Enjoyed this like all of Kylie Chan's books, very familiar pace and characterisation. Glad there's a dramatis personae in the back as I've totally lost track of some of her peripheral characters and often they just pop in for a paragraph or are just mentioned rather than appearing.

Liked how she expanded her mythology - if there are Chinese gods then where are all the others from other cultures?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Australia, Wales, England, Hong Kong... shake in some magical realism and mythology, a dose of culture and a high shot of adventure, and this is a fun read.

I enjoy the series, but must confess I'm getting to the point where I'm tired of "And we're together again...and now we're not. And we're together again!...and now we're not", strung out over nine books. Frankly, at this stage, I'm reading it more for the mythos than the romance arc.
Matthew Mango
May 22, 2013 Matthew Mango rated it it was amazing
Kylie Chan is an amazing author and this book did not disappoint! The story is strong and captivating and a bit frustrating and saddening but like the Jade Emperor says, things happen for a reason, so I'm sure readers will agree that all the hardships and crazy days and even the boringly normal ones have a reason for happening.
David Delaney
Apr 18, 2014 David Delaney rated it really liked it
Still love this series of books. Will be getting the next one for sure. The blend of martial arts and fantasy with a dash of romance definitely pays off. I'd recommend starting at white tiger though as without knowledge of what's gone on and of the world in general this book will become very confusing
Jan 09, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
I actually read this a while ago (can't remember exactly when) and really liked it. It is well along into a complicated saga, so I wouldn't recommend reading it without reading the books that come before it, but unlike others, I have not become bored or disenchanted with these books, and I really liked this one. It had some twists I wasn't expecting and broadened the world/mythology.
Oct 04, 2013 Stevie rated it really liked it
As Emma and Johns Journey continues I find myself relating more and more to Emma. Scared of looking deeper inside for fear of what you might find and having to put on a brave face and be strong when all you want to do is curl up and cry, such a wonderful, magical and yet utterly relatable story, cannot wait for the next book :)
Apr 01, 2014 Ray rated it liked it
Now seven books into the triple trilogy, I'm not sure what I expected, but I do know it was more than I got. This is not a bad story, and it does progress the timeline and answers at least one question. But there is nothing here we haven't seen before. It does build the lead in to the next two books, so I can only hope that the next one steps it up a bit.
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Western release date of Celestial Battle Trilogy 1 8 May 17, 2013 08:27PM  
Chapter One Preview!!! Part 1 3 12 May 17, 2013 10:15AM  
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Kylie doesn't participate in the Goodreads network. You can find her fanpage on Facebook or visit her website at

Kylie Chan married a Hong Kong national in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Eastern China, lived in Australia for ten years, then moved to Hong Kong for ten years and during that time learnt a great deal about Chinese culture and came to appreciate the custom
More about Kylie Chan...

Other Books in the Series

Celestial Battle (3 books)
  • Demon Child (Celestial Battle, #2)
  • Black Jade (Celestial Battle, #3)

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“The Serpent's eyes are glazed and cloudy; it cannot die from heat or thirst. Nobody has come in weeks, it is alone. Death's release it out of reach.

The Turtle's head is full of war; it studies the time streams, planning defence. The streams all merge and gather at a place that spells defeat.”
“Stop dithering and get in here, woman. I need you!” 0 likes
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