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The Embers of Heaven

(Jin-Shei #2)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  223 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In The Secrets of Jin-Shei, eight women pledge themselves as sisters in the name of jin-shei, the unbreakable bond, the promise that lasts a lifetime. This sisterhood shapes their lives, their country and their world. The Embers of Heaven begins four hundred years later. In eighteenth-century Syai, and its capital city of Linh-an, things have changed beyond recognition.

Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 2006)
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Alma Alexander It stands alone but it would be helpful to know of the events in the first book because it does hearken back to concepts originally described there.…moreIt stands alone but it would be helpful to know of the events in the first book because it does hearken back to concepts originally described there. And I am so sorry to take so long to answer this but I only just found this question...(less)

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3.35  · 
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 ·  223 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Ginger Myrick
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My personal acquaintances know that I am a literary omnivore and can find books to enjoy in several different genres. That being said, I am a person who does not like to waste her time, therefore I am extremely picky about my choices. My preferred reading material is historical fiction, so it was a pretty safe bet that I would like this book. But I think I should preface this review by also stating that I am exceptionally fond of historical epics, such as those written by James Michener and Jame ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Que manera de arruinar una historia interesante con un romance que da urticaria.
A partir de del momento en que ambos se conocen la historia se pierde completamente, Iloh es presentado como un personaje fuerte pero su desarrollo es nulo, el libro tiene tintes políticos fuertes pero que no llevan a nada y Amais que es el personaje mejor descrito porque estamos con ella el 80% de la historia se siente incompleta porque la historia que en los primeros capítulos se nos promete se queda olvidada e
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
The Embers of Heaven is a historical fantasy, set in an alternate China (called Syai) in the twentieth century and dealing with the triumph of Communism and the Cultural Revolution. The book follows Amais, whose family left Syai hundreds of years ago for what appears to be Greece, but who returns to her homeland with her mother and sister just in time for these dramatic events. The exile community (like some similar communities in real life) has kept alive old imperial traditions that no longer ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely the best alternate history novel that I've read. I only recently discovered this sequel to a book that has been a favorite of mine.

The Secrets of Jin-sheicentered on a wonderful concept, but I confess that I can't remember a thing about the plot or the characters. It was jin-shei itself that was indelible.

I think that this sequel is the story that really needed to be told about jin-shei. It is the one thing from the past that could not be destroyed and needed to be carried fo

This review is an addition to the GR book blurb.

Amais, a little girl, was torn between two families. On the one hand there was her maternal grandmother who tutored her in the ancient women's language, jin-ashu, the language of gentle things, of her royal ancestors. She insisted on it being done. On the other hand there was Amais's dad, a commoner and fisherman, who taught her the secrets of the sea, introducing her to the dolphins in a cove - his secret place of rendezvous with these gentle crea
Dilys Myhill
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Another great read. This novel is 400 years on from her last novel THE SECRETS OF JIN SHEI.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me the goosebumps. It was so spiritually enlightening.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While this is book 2 in the series I have not read book one and this did not seem to affect my enjoyment of this book so it can be read as a standalone.

This book follow Amais and her life, mostly spend in a version of china while a cultural revolution and the beginnings of communism take place. Amais both fits and does not fit into this world and her story kept me enchanted.

I loved the concept of Jin-Shei, of a sisterhood so strong that you could ask absolutely anything of a sworn sister and it
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I guess I'm being generous and would actually give this 2.5 stars. It was...okay? Extremely unsatisfying follow-up to the first book. It's basically a parallel of the Chinese Revolution, not even thinly veiled. It was kind of like reading an account of the revolution, except there were some magical elements and some tenuous threads connecting it to the first Jin-Shei book.

I also found Amais nowhere as sympathetic as Tai for some reason. Perhaps it was her romanticizing of jin-shei. I found mysel
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Different from the first book - not in a bad way, just different. It took me quite a while to read, but I did truly enjoy it, the way that Alma Alexander writes is stunningly lyrical and I hope to see another of her books soon.
Erika Rdg
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este es uno de mis libros favoritos, pero no es la clase de libros que recomendaría leer a alguien más. Pero es simplemente bello.
Nicky Mottram
Nov 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cultural-lit
Very disappointing. Sequel to Jin-Shei which was a great book so was really looking forward to this book, but i didnt finish it as was very slow and no story.
Caly ☯ Crazy Book Lady
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not as good as the first, but gets better towards the end.
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Embers of heaven
Plot was great in the beginning. I was really drawn into the story and could not put the book down.

Halfway through reporting in:
Then about halfway through it turned into a fictional story about Chairman Mao…uhhhh what? It was like all the previous plot had been dropped and swept aside, which given the whole idea of a revolution wouldn’t have been so bad if the main character hadn’t seemed to have abandoned her quest as well. It was just weird and awkward having self cri
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
It took me a while to get into this book, I was just getting there when the action changed to follow the second major character and I put it down for an age again. The story is about a girls return with her mother and sister to their ancestral home in a land very like China on the verge of revolution. She feels lost and searches for the place described by her grandmother and in the diaries of her ancestor. There is a love story, a war, death, deprivation, longing and joy, everything an epic dram ...more
Apr 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Amais’s mother and grandmother are from Syai. Her father is a fisherman from a small village. Amais grandmother taught her the ancient, secret language of jin-shei. It is a women’s language that was once the foundation of a great empire. Amais and her family return to Syai and she finds herself caught in a revolution, loving a man who sees only the future as it could be, and struggling to preserve jin-shei and the past it represents. This is an epic story that has much to teach. I loved reading ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
It's so bad, I couldn't bring myself to pick it up again.. The premise and plot is promising, but the delivery is just such a big letdown. There are a lot of missing links and characters that added no depth to the story, and a lack of detailed descriptions that would have enriched the book.
Vanessa Samuel
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This was indeed Embers of Heaven for it had none of the magic I expected to follow on from The Secrets of Jin-Shei. I found it a struggle to finish... if I'd wanted to read about China's revolution I would have stuck with Wild Swans, not this fictional account.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think the main reason I can only bring myself to be "okay" with this book is that it was painful to watch the world I loved so much from "The Secrets of Jin-Shei" dissolve into a Cultural Revolution parallel. The thought of jin-shei being lost, and the temples being burned...
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: isabel-allende
Not so good as the first but its okay
Sujeewa Rajapakse
loved it...
Sep 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff
The descriptions of not-Greece and not-China were captivating. Alexander painted not-Mao so vividly; I desperately wanted to shake some sense into him. Unfortunately the ending seemed a bit rushed.
4.5 stars reviewed by Ginger for Romantic Historical Lovers
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Oct 27, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2014
Gabrielle O'connell
rated it liked it
Dec 07, 2018
Emily Levick
rated it did not like it
Jul 17, 2013
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2018
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ALMA ALEXANDER is a novelist who writes for both adults ("The Secrets of Jin Shei", "Embers of Heaven", "Midnight at Spanish Gardens", "The Hidden Queen", "Changer of Days") and YA audiences (the Worldweavers trilogy, "Gift of the Unmage", "Spellspam", "Cybermage","Dawn of Magic" - as well as the new series, The Were Chronicles, "Random", "Wolf" and "Shifter")

Her work has been translated into 14

Other books in the series

Jin-Shei (2 books)
  • The Secrets of Jin-shei (Jin-Shei, #1)