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Embers of Heaven Kindle Edition
|Length: 381 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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More About the Author
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Alma Alexander, the 'Duchess of Fantasy,' was born on the banks of an ancient river in a country which no longer exists. When she was ten, her family left Europe and moved to Africa. Since then she has lived in several countries on four continents and now lives in America with a husband she met on the Internet
She has written three million words in more than 20 books and one of her novels, "The Secrets of Jin-shei," has been published around the world in 14 languages. The heroine of her popular Young Adult Worldweavers series is as American as Harry Potter is British. The first book in another young adult series about a shape-shifting Were family will be published shortly.
When asked what she would be if she weren't a writer, she quotes Ursula LeGuin's answer to that question: "Dead."
Alma is a punaholic and a chronic worrier, one of those people who proves that real pessimists are truly born and not made. She is owned by a cat. She was born on the fifth day of July (the day after America), six years before man walked on the moon, which makes her a cancer according to the Western horoscope and a water rabbit according to the Chinese one.
Top Customer Reviews
I found Embers to be a better book than Jin-Shei, for several reasons. First, the plot is more structured (and it's a great story, keeping me glued to the pages for a couple of days). Second, there is a manageable number of main characters. We follow Amais for most of the book, while about 50 pages are dedicated to her love interest, Iloh (who basically is Chairman Mao--you can see why this needed to be set in an alternate world). Third, I appreciated the way this book dealt with a particular period in history. It came to life, feeling as real as anything I've seen depicted in historical fiction. Fantasy elements here are minor, limited to a few moments of clairvoyance.Read more ›
EMBERS OF HEAVEN is a work of historical fantasy set in Syai (an alternate China) in the mid-twentieth century during a transitional age between the old and new systems of rule. Amais is the protagonist who has been groomed her entire life by her grandmother, an exiled relic of the Imperial era, for the task of reviving jin-shei. Amais accepts her destiny and returns to her ancestral homeland determined to find the revered sisterhood and everything it entails. There she experiences disillusionment, regret, purpose, fulfillment, and love in all of its forms.
Iloh and Xuan are the two men vying for Amias's affections.Read more ›
Alexander blends historical narrative with epic storytelling. The first novel of hers I read was "The Secrets of Jin-Shei." In it, I was blown away by the depth and power of the story. Embers of Heaven had the same effect. Alma Alexander is wonderful at transporting readers across time and place, to feel and see and fear and love as her characters do. It is rare to find an author who can do that. She is particularly good at invoking emotions in her readers. Few books have made me bawl. This is one. Or made me want to put down the book rather than read what will follow.
I love the way this book dealt with the Chinese communist revolution - she brings history to life, even when writing fantasy, better than many historical writers. Her attention to Iloh (the fictional Chairman Mao) is particularly well-done. As with Jin-Shei, Alma Alexander gives special focus to deep friendships between women. Whether these friendships are realistic (I would love for them to be so), I don't know - but I love female-centric novels.
Alma Alexander is one of my favorite authors. The only difficulty I found in her writing was that sometimes she'd write very long about parts of the story I wasn't interested in following - dreams, of memories, or suchlike. I'd skim and skip and then reread them later. Probably my own impatience in reading, though, not her writing style.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Embers of Heaven starts 400 years after the much loved The Secrets of Jin-shei, one of my favorite books of all time. Read morePublished on June 21, 2012 by Amazon Customer
When I learned Alma Alexander's sequel to Jin-shei had been released, I knew I had to read it right away. Once I started reading I couldn't stop. Read morePublished on June 4, 2012 by Mollie Kindall