Why two covers? So you can see the difference! The first pink cover is the hardback edition, and not receiving much action at my library. It reminds me of a cheesy kung fu DVD-only movie. The second cover is the best, either, but at least it's more in tune with what YA covers look like nowadays.
Ai Ling is a prisoner of her times--she's female in ancient China and doesn't have power. When she is close to being forced to marrying a man she doesn't like, she runs away to try to find her father--the one man who can save and protect her. Her father was one an admired and respected scholar to the emperor, but now is scorned because of some unmentionable activity.
As Ai Ling travels to the emperor's city, she discovers that she has more access to the world of demons and gods than she knew. She is powerful, and must use her knowledge of the old stories to protect her newly found friends. This book is magical, fierce, and surprisingly a bit dirty-minded at times, but it all works. The sequel, Fury of the Phoenix, was published in March 2011.