#BookReview The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang @uplitreads @uplitreads #thephoenixcrown #katequinn #janiechang #gifted #uplitreads Title: The Phoenix Crown

Author: Kate Quinn, Janie Chang

Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks on Feb. 13, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8/10

From bestselling authors Janie Chang and Kate Quinn, a thrilling and unforgettable narrative about the intertwined lives of two wronged women, spanning from the chaos of the San Francisco earthquake to the glittering palaces of Versailles.

San Francisco, 1906. In a city bustling with newly minted millionaires and scheming upstarts, two very different women hope to change their fortunes: Gemma, a golden-haired, silver-voiced soprano whose career desperately needs rekindling, and Suling, a petite and resolute Chinatown embroideress who is determined to escape an arranged marriage. Their paths cross when they are drawn into the orbit of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate whose extraordinary collection of Chinese antiques includes the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace.

His patronage offers Gemma and Suling the chance of a lifetime, but their lives are thrown into turmoil when a devastating earthquake rips San Francisco apart and Thornton disappears, leaving behind a mystery reaching further than anyone could have imagined . . . until the Phoenix Crown reappears five years later at a sumptuous Paris costume ball, drawing Gemma and Suling together in one last desperate quest for justice.


Compelling, atmospheric, and mysterious!

The Phoenix Crown is a captivating, insightful tale set during 1906 that takes you into the life of Gemma Garland, an operatic soprano who, after having a lacklustre career in New York, heads to San Francisco to meet up with her friend, Nell and give her career the boost it needs, but things don’t work out exactly as she hoped, and as the earthquake and subsequent fires destroy the foundations of the city, it quickly becomes apparent that the railroad magnate and Chinese antiquities collector, Henry Thornton is not quite the catch he first appeared, and it will take forming a close friendship with a young embroider and a middle-aged renowned botanist to finally bring his nefarious actions to light.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are naive, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is an engaging tale of life, loss, deception, surprises, heartbreak, betrayal, danger, friendship, inequality, survival, a touch of romance, and the great San Francisco earthquake.

Overall, The Phoenix Crown is an intriguing, absorbing, enigmatic tale by this dynamic writing duo that immerses you in another time and place and does a wonderful job of highlighting the lengths that people will often go for power, success, acceptance, retribution, and survival.


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Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Janie Chang

Born in Taiwan, Janie Chang has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, New Zealand, and Canada. She writes historical fiction, often drawing from family history and ancestral stories. She has a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Three Souls, Dragon Springs Road, and The Library of Legends.

About Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, The Rose Code, and The Diamond Eye. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

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