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Dark Serpent

(Celestial Battle #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,232 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The First Book in Bestselling Author Kylie Chan's Thrilling Celestial Battle Trilogy

When the ancestry of Xuan Wu's fiancée, Emma, is revealed, it threatens the harmony of the whole Celestial realm. The demons are gathering, powerful alliances are being made and stone Shen are under threat. However, Xuan Wu is distracted—he must save Emma from the Demon King and give her th
ebook, 560 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Harper Voyager (first published May 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,232 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Apr 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Well, that's disappointing. There are several of spelling errors and etc that should have been caught by an editor/readers.

The take on the "western heavens" is very weird. The take on Christianity is also very weird.

The deal with the Demon King not okay with women being raped is crap. At this point of the story, that doesn't hold any credibility.

Plot progression was typical in being utterly obvious but it was not balanced by the characters being more interesting. This one felt like a bu
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cris Cuthbertson
Super silly now. But pretty quick to read, so I’ll keep at it.
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this series. Love Kylie Chan hope there is a new book soon.
Ashleigh Motbey
3.5 stars. The 1st in a new trilogy, the 7th in the whole series. Again, I really enjoyed Kylie Chan's world and the Chinese Mythology throughout this. I have really learnt a lot through her books.

This book was simple, yet effective. It was good to finally learn Emma's true heritage, and the back story behind it. And, it is wonderful to see how much progress each book makes. It didn't drag at all, to the point that I thought that there might have been TOO much action to it.

However, in saying tha
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writing has picked up so much with this book. The main characters aren't all powerful and wrapping up any problems within a chapter, but rather having actual problems and not always a solution. The characters themselves are more 3-dimensional in the way they react to each other and the situations they are in. There are a lot of dark themes in this book too.

I did enjoy reading the previous 6 books in the series, even though my boyfriend and I often tease the whole "we don't need words" thing
Volume seven of the series and it doesn't get tired. Chan seems to be very adept at adding new storylines to the story and I am intrigued about where she goes with writing her next book - will it be book ten of Emma's story or a new book altogether? Emma and John have survived many catastrophes and still struggle with the future. All the pieces are there, but hurdles ahead. As Emma appears to be a Western serpent by descent, she is an intriguing element. Most gratifying. ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit rushed, but otherwise good

It has been a while since I read the other trilogies. In the meantime, me-Emma went through.. similar things book-Emma did. So, I was able to empathize with the characters as I always have been able to, but it seems like it was a bit rushed to get there.

Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5
I absolutely LOVED this series. I read and re-read all nine books: for me, this is the most accurate way to know how much do I like a book: do I feel like reading it again? How soon?
All nine of these books were definitely the most I re-read - and thoroughly enjoyed each time anew - during the past year.
And that places them at the top, for me.
Ashley Halbardier
What a whirlwind story! Honestly, I can't even believe that it has been almost 7 months since I've discovered this series!!!! Almost done with it, too. Part of me is ready for the conclusion, but the other part doesn't want to let go. Will start the next book soon. ...more
ms bookjunkie
Things are complicated. A trip to the West to uncover information does not go as planned. Things get more complicated. (I think need a second read to absorb and comprehend all that is learned and experienced.)
Better written than the last book in the series as it was clearer and less confused. All are exciting reads with great characters. Emma goes through hell again, literally but survives.
Ian Higgs
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always a good story
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanette Schaeche
This is my first read through of the first instalment of the Celestial Battle trilogy. And oh. My. Fucking. God.

I knew from the get go that Dark Serpent was going to destroy me in some way. The tell? FUCKING TWO POVS! That’s right folks - two point of views (Emma and John). I just knew that Kylie had something special planned for us all.

I immensely enjoyed this instalment. We got a beautiful mix of the Chinese mythological cast we’ve come to know and love, with a dash of new folklore, and the
Jenny Delandro
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
Nicole C
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-fantasy, owned
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
Erin Mary Coulter
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Fiona Burgess
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
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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

Other books in the series

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

News & Interviews

  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
6 likes · 4 comments
“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.”
“If I don't talk to him, he'll start contacting both of you telepathically and I know what a pain in the ass that is.” 1 likes
More quotes…