Beautiful photo by @bookish.archaeologist
Welcome to day 1 of our Jade Fire Gold readalong. I hope you’re all as excited as I am! I can’t WAIT to see what you all think, I hope you love it!
Before we dive in, how are you all? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some reading done. If you read anything good, make sure you let me know in the comments below!
Since today is day 1, we’ll be reading Chapter 1 to the end of Chapter 8. Find a comfy spot, grab some blankets, a drink, maybe a snack (or three!) and let’s get started!
When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!
Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan from Chapter 1 to Chapter 8. Please only read on if you have finished this section!
Welcome to… the desert!
After a mysterious “before” chapter where we met some royals on the run and a shady guy in a shroud of black smoke and red fury (sounds nice!) we’re stepping into chapter one, with our main character Ahn in Shahmo! We’ve met Ahn at a pretty bad time, her Ama is sick, Ahn is too poor to get her the medicine she needs and the pharmacist won’t help her even though Ama delivered his child, this is not good! Shahmo is in a bad way and Ahn wants out.
Ahn certainly has an admirable determination that’s great to see in a fantasy character! Her strong will (and willingness to steal for her Ama) is definitely the beginning of an amazing main character! Anyone agree?
Back to business, we meet Li Guo next… he seems kind! He’s really kind and offers to help Ahn, but she’s too proud to take the help!
Things don’t seem good in Shahmo, Ahn is adamant that the peace won’t last… and Shahmo is currently ruled by a 16 year old boy whose father was hella blood thirsty?! No thank you!
Ahn wishes she could take up Li Guo’s offer to escape, if only Li Guo and Ahn could make a run for it and take Ama with them!
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh no, traitor alert! Li Guo and Ahn have come across a traitor, someone who has harboured a Tiensai (someone with magic) and the Diyeh priests have cut out her tongue. Brutal. Li Guo wants to help but Ahn’s not so sold on the idea.
But… wait, what’s that? Magic is illegal… but Ama found Ahn as a child with a snowflake in her hand, it wasn’t melting even in the desert heat. That has to be magic, right? Why is Ahn unsupportive of the traitor her and Li Guo found then? Could it be that she’s scared to face what would become of her and Ama if someone discovered she has magic?
And yet Ahn said to the traitor, “She should know that magic is banned in the Empire and for good reason.” Does anyone want to take one for the team and remind Ahn she has magic? Asking for a friend?
The time has come folks, we’re meeting her! The woman, the myth, the legend… GRANDMA JIA!
She’s so sweet…
Ama is a very kind woman, a woman who, in a world where magic is sin, found a child in the street with clear magical abilities, and took her in and raised her as her own despite the risk it posed to herself. She could’ve turned her back on young Ahn and moved on but she risked her life to give Ahn a life. No wonder Ahn wants to protect her!
Ama discourages Ahn from selling her Jade ring, the only thing Ahn has left of her real family. This has to be significant right?
We’re joining our second main character, and *DRUMROLL* Altan is the mysterious person from the ‘before’ chapter! He’s certainly had a rough life.
Altan, lost his twin and his mother at eight years old and spent the rest of his life on the run from a man with a melted face. Very suspicious.
We meet Tang Wei next, who seems to be Altan’s best friend/accomplice! Tang Wei is sassy, strong and street wise.
There’s a LOT going on here! The former Emperor, Gao Long, was poisoned either by his wife or his son? Brutal.
The Diyeh priesthood sound super mean too…
OH… Ahn and Altan are meeting! Not exactly a meet cute though, he’s caught her stealing, awkward!
Such drama, so quick! Ahn has killed two people? I did not see that coming! And now we’re back to an Altan chapter??? But I need to know what happened to Ahn NOW!
Altan seems so smitten with Ahn, it’s so cute!
Altan is such a grump most of the time (although, with his history it’s easy to see why) and it’s so funny how Tang Wei relentlessly teases him.
Back to Ahn, and oh no, she’s leaving? Ahn is entrusting Li Guo to take care of Ama while she’s gone.
Nevermind. Ahn isn’t running away, she’s handed herself in! From what we know about how Tiensai are seen in Shahmo, this doesn’t seem good. Poor Ahn!
Some mixed messages here! Magic is against the law, but the premier wants Ahn kept safe and they gave her Jade ring back. This seems super sketchy!
HOLD UP! Life Stealer? That’s deep!
Ahn seems to think so too! Judging by her reaction, that’s not a normal thing to say, even to a Tiensai. Hold on, hasn’t Altan mentioned that before?
The Life Stealer is key to our plans to overthrow the Diyeh
The new Life Stealer is the only one who cans top the desert spreading
So it seems Ahn is a LOT more powerful than she knows! This just got VERY interesting.
Back to Altan and he’s mentioning the Life Stealer again, I wonder if he’d still like Ahn if he knew she could be the Life Stealer!
We’re ending today’s chapter on a high, Leiye has pretty much confirmed Ahn IS the Life Stealer, and the Empire is relying on her to cure the disease of the earth… no pressure Ahn!
What a way to start our readalong! That was a LOT to take in for sure, after this first section, I have a feeling this book is going to be packed with action and I’m here for it.
What are your initial thoughts on Jade Fire Gold? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back tomorrow for more readalong fun!
79 thoughts on “Jade Fire Gold Readalong Day 1!”
I really like how Ahn is a flawed character. She knows she has magic, but to scared to explore her own abilities. She is in survival mode, completely unwilling to help those who are not her loved-one but she understands how immoral this could make her. I can’t wait to see what she will become after her journey is done.
Tang Wei is starting off as a very strong & so enjoyable character. She is a good counterpoint to Altan negativity.
I’m not sure I am sold to Altan as the lead character yet. Usually not fond of revenge-centric characters because they can easily become too one-dimensional.
Agreed, Tang Wei is so fun! I think Altan would be lost without her 💜
I completely agree with you about Altan, I want to see his evolution as a lead character. He has such a dark past and is completely driven by one thing, revenge. I can’t wait to see him interact more with Ahn.
Hi Dalianis, indeed ! I will give him the benefit of the doubt & await to see if he will evolve 🙂
I am surprised that Ahn never really tried to use her magic. Of course it is super dangerous, but I would have been much to curious and would have tried what I can do somewhere unseen…Or do we know if the priests sense magic somehow?
I’d have been reaaaally tempted too! 💜
Oooh, this is an interesting start to the book. I went in a little blind not really knowing what the story was going to be about, so I’m intrigued by the mythology of the phoenix that the two swords!
Ahn’s Jade ring must have some significance for sure! It has a phoenix on it doesn’t it?
Definitely agree, such a fun and interesting start! 💜
Definitely a great start!!! At the beginning I thought that Ahn could have been Altan’s lost sister, honest mistake! I truly love Ahn, she’s fierce and has magic, which I love! I really like Tang Wei and Altans relationship, she’s definitely a fun character. There are lots of names to remember, of people and places, I felt like highlighting them, but I don’t damage my books, 😉. Was Gao Long the emperor of Shi? Is this Altans rightful place? I’m a bit confused about the kingdoms. And what about the mysterious young priest that saves Ahn?
Yes, love Ahn’s fierceness! I think if we keep reading everything will start to make sense 💜
I agree! Last night I couldn’t put the book down!!!
I totally thought that Ahn was Altan’s twin sister as well until they described what she looked like! They are complete opposites!
I love it. Ahn is such a great character. You can tell, especially in her interactions with Ama and when she turns herself in that she’s an honest person. However, as we see in her interaction with the traitor, she’s conflicted about how far she’s willing to go to do the right thing. I can’t believe what happened with her magic. So scary… and yet, so powerful. I think a power like that, in the right hands (hers, as long as she can control it) could be used for good. Maybe. Hopefully. I love her interaction with Altan. Teng Wei is a great character too. So many complex characters already. I like it.
Ahn and Ama melt my heart! 💜
Spot on about Ahn’s emotions ! I completely agree. I think Ahn so far as been the more fleshed out character. I hope we will be able to read her struggles. Her powers are quite radical & anybody with a heart will not feel good about having them. I find her very brave so far.
For some reason I thought Ahn was going to end up being Altan’s lost sister – kind of like a Luke and Leia (Star Wars) situation but maybe more awkward but I’m glad that’s not the case. I like the dual POV and June CL Tan’s writing is very good so far and I’m liking the world building. So good so far 🙂
Agreed, I’m loving her writing style! 💜
That was my first thought as well! But then it was cleared up when her age was mentioned
I am really enjoying this one so far and can’t wait to read more! I love the friendship between Altan and Tang Wei! Very intrigued to learn more about Anh’s ring and her power and where she came from! Great start to the book!
So happy you’re enjoying it! 💜
This is an interesting start; I like the fact that Ahn feels flawed and, honestly, like a bit of a mess. Who wouldn’t be, in that situation. Calling it know though; no way Altan’s twin is dead.
Definitely agree, it’s nice to see a character who’s not absolutely faultless, and I feel like she knows she’s not too! 💜
Hi everyone! Full disclosure I am pretty under the weather right now so there’s a good chance I might fall behind this month, bit I’m excited to read!
So far this book is off to a really good start. I love the setting and the pace of the plot is exactly how I like it- not completely rushing me through, but still fast paced enough to keep my attention. I don’t have wildly strong feelings toward any of the characters yet, but its early days and I certainly don’t dislike them – I think I just need to get to know them better.
Oh no! I hope you feel better soon. Glad you’re enjoying the book so far! 💜
On the upside, if I stay sick it does give me something fun to read while I’m off work!! 💖
Super interesting start! I’m really curious how it will be going in next chapters. It reminds me a lot Chinese historical dramas, but I love it!
So far all characters are really strong and very well written. Ahn was so sweet when she tries to protect Ama and delivered to her food and medicines.
Altan is more mysterious, but I really like him. He has his mission, but I think his interaction with Ahn will change his plan to kill the Life Stealer.
I hope Ama is fine!
Glad you’re enjoying it! 💜
I love Ahn’s dedication to her grandmother. She only has her grandmother’s best interest in mind and that really seems to drive most of her decisions. I wonder if this is going to continue throughout the book now that Ahn has made the decision to leave. I have some thoughts on who Leiye might be from Ahn’s comments about him, but I don’t want to leak them quite yet.
Me too! She’s so dedicated to Ama, melts my heart 🥺💜
A great start indeed. I also went blind into the story and I’m enjoying the mythology and world building.
I like Ahn as a main character. She is strong and brave. I want to see more interactions between Altan and Ahn. I can’t wait to see when those two meet again.
I really like Ahn too! 💜
I’m having a little trouble sorting out all of the names and places and such so far, but Ahn is a fascinating character! I *really* want her to be Altan’s sister, but it sounds like that’s not going to be the case…
I was kind of hoping Ahn was the twin of Altan but it looks like they are going to be sort of enemies to lovers? I mean Ahn is apparently the Life stealer & Altan wants to kill the Life stealer… at least I think that is what he said?
And it seems that Altan has some kind of magic too.. the boy with the golden eye… tell me more
Right? Altan’s so mysterious, I love it 💜
What a start!
I confess that in the first chapters I was a little confused… that mysterious “Before”, and the first chapter of Ahn and Altan…
Ahn is a character who is fighting for survival and her fear of the magic she possesses will bring her even more problems…. or not! we will see.
Altan, is not afraid and it seems to me that he will do everything to get the revenge he wants so much, even if it brings him problems!
The interaction of these characters was not much, but there was in the short time they were together a connection between them that is still not possible to explain… maybe their magic recognizes each other?
Tang Wei and Li Guo are wonderful characters too!
It has barely started and I no longer like these Diyeh priests!…
I LOVE the idea of their magic recognising each other! 💜
I went into this not really knowing what it was about. This book starts out fast paced with a bit of info dump in the beginning (honestly still a little lost on the first altan chapter and all the family drama lol) but I loved all the characters so far and the mythology seems really cool!
There’s definitely something to the ring I think and Ahns real parents will be an interesting reveal!
Definitely interesting! 💜
I am really enjoying this book so far. I love the action in it already! I so want to know what happened to Ahn during her childhood and why she and Altan BOTH have jade jewelry. Ahn seems like a complex character and rightfully so! Her powers are huge and she doesn’t know anything about them! As for Altan, I feel like I don’t really know him yet. I feel more connected to Ahn. Teng Wei is definitely sassy and I can tell I’m going to like her! Can’t wait for tomorrow.
Glad to hear you’re enjoying it! 💜
This was so exciting. I enjoyed doing this and reading this book. So far I love this book.
Yay! Happy to hear that 💜
I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to take part in the last read-along, but I’m super excited to be a part of this one!
I feel like this was a stronger start to a book than the last few books I’ve read, and I’m really enjoying it! The fact that Ahn is a flawed character, who makes terrible choices and actually faces the consequences of them, is something that I found really refreshing, and although I wanted to shake her half of the time, I appreciated that her character made me feel something. I think it was nicely done how her role as the “life stealer” was alluded to through her name meaning “peace” or “darkness.”
As for Altan, I really enjoyed getting into the nitty politics of Altan’s family, and each role that his family, or confidants played. I can’t wait to (hopefully) see/hear more about Linxi, since she is a spy, and I feel like she has a bigger role to play than being a character mentioned offhandedly. I absolutely can’t wait for the interaction between Tang Wei and Linxi. I imagine it’ll be adorable and I’m living for it. I can’t wait to learn more about Altan’s family as well.
Lastly, I like that they’re both painting a different perspective based on the same story of the blacksmith and the two swords, where Altan thinks the life-stealer is someone who needs to be killed, while Leiye is convinced that the life-stealer will save their land. It’s interesting to see how the story is interpreted by the character, and I’m excited to see where these interpretations lead them!
I never made that connection with Ahn’s name so I’m glad you pointed that out! 💜
I’m really loving the character Ahn so far and it’s interesting to see Altan’ point of view for all his revenge stuff. It looks like the ring that Ahn has is important, but I have no idea how. Also, Ahn using that sword was so cool. The powers are the thing that are interesting me the most. Also, the story about the blacksmith and sword is so great and really enjoyed that part.
I’m really looking forward to find out about the ring
I really like Ahn’s character as well! 💜
I’m loving this so far. I think it was a wee bit info-dumpy in parts but I like knowing what I now know because of of that and also, I think the novel would be too long without it – there’s a lot going on that we need to know about.
I’m so thrilled to be enjoying it 🙂 I’m looking forward to Ahn and Altan meeting again 🙂 also, I wish she got to eat the fruit!
Glad you’re enjoying it! 💜
As always with a new book I am confused about all the foreign names, but I am sure I will get along with it soon. I really like the setting and am very excited to see how everything is going on. Ahn and Atlan for sure will meet again and I don´t quite know how he will react when he gets to know she is the life stealer. I thiiink this will be an enemies to lovers book 😛
I think you might be right! 👀💜
I am really loving this book. I like reading about different cultures and this book has a really interesting story. I want to know more about the characters and what is going to happen to them. I was so into the book that I almost continued.
So glad you’re enjoying it! 💜
Starting off this is so Promising! Ahn’s character seems very caring, just wanting to ensure her Ama is taken care of, and doing what she has to in order for her and her loved ones to survive. I felt from the moment the jade ring was mentioned it was significant! Ahn not using her powers and mentally blocking them most of her life is sure to mean she is going to be a powerful (life stealer!) cant wait to see all the power she has.
Altan seems a more somber character bent on revenge, but with his family history, it’s understandable. I’m glad they introduced Tang Wei to kind of balance him out. I look forward to learning more about this family and its history.
Definitely agree with everything you mentioned! 💜
Here I am and only one day late!
And i have to say Im confused. I first thought Ahn and Altan are sister and brother, but that doesn’t work.
So Ahn has magic and is the life stealer Altan wants to kill. I hope he likes her enough to not kill her tho. And what with the priest and the swords? Do they really exist?
I like how much has happened so far. Quick read.
Glad you’re liking it! 💜
I was half convinced Ahn was going to be Altan’s twin sister, but, now I’m even more intrigued! And glad she’s not lol, but, omg how can she save them all as a life stealer?
Oh my goodness! Me toooooo! And I was really about to melt over it too! Ugh, she’s not tho 😭
I think there are so many questions introduced regarding the backstory for these two. It will be interesting to get some more information about them!
Just catching up, but anyone else see the very close resemblance to Shadow and Bon and An Ember In The Ashes? I mean the whole poised land, a chosen one (S&B) and then that sort of love triangle that I’m pretty sure is going to persist, just like in AEITA except it was a love square in that one. However I am really enjoying her power, I hope it’ll develop a whole lot more and surprise me! Haven’t read a good fantasy in a very long time. (One that wasn’t a reread)
Oh and very random, but I would’ve been royally freaking pissed if Ahn had sold that ring. I would’ve literally just closed the book and left. It was quite frustrating to read through those scene, but thank god she didn’t.
Yes! I was definitely getting Shadow and Bone vibes! But also, Camelot Rising vibes.
I’m enjoying that the relationship focus is not really on love, but the close connections of people important to the main characters.
I really enjoyed these first chapters. Its very easy to read and quite fast as well, even though I found Altan’s first chapter fairly info dumpy. But now the action is started its speeding along and I’m interested to see what happens next. I had thought that maybe Altan would rescue Ahn from the priests but he’s nowhere nearby, so who knows when they’ll meet back up.
Glad to hear you’re enjoying it! 💜
There was a lot of information and characters in the first chapters. I like Ahn, and she definitely doing the best she can in a difficult world. I like At
I like Altan too, I think we see some good in him despite his desire for revenge. Tang Wei is a good balance to his anger. I’m looking forward to reading more and seeing how everything plays out between the main characters when they meet again.
Definitely agree, I really think Altan and Tang Wei balance each other out! 💜
So far it’s really fascinating! I loved how the world building is done too! There’s a lot of information, but it’s introduced very steadily, bit by bit over the course of the chapters!
It’s very exciting tho! And I do wonder at the priests! Seem like a bunch of hypocrites to me 🥴
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes in this kingdom!
Of course Tang Wei is my favorite! I love her entrance into the story!
Yesssss, I love Tang Wei! 💜
So as of right now I’m not a fan of Altan at the moment. I think that’s currently more because we don’t really know him or his motivations super well as of yet. I do like Ahn as she is just desperate to survive and isn’t always a “morally right” character in order to protect herself. I’m looking forward to when our characters cross paths again, because I did enjoy their cute little moment.
Oh no! I hope Altan grows on you 💜
Wow! A lot happened in these chapters. I’m enjoying it, there’s a lot being set up, and I’m excited to see where this goes! I went into this book blind so I’m pleasantly surprised.
I’m glad you’re liking it! 💜
I am very excited to see how the dynamic between Altan and Ahn plays out as we move through the book. Already, we’re seeing not only how they mirror each other’s determination and ability to do what must be done, but also how they distinctly differ. Where Ahn seems to be impulsive, Altan is measured. These traits seem to shape their experiences and perspectives and I can’t wait to see how these traits bring them together and pull them apart once their stories intertwine.
Yes! I couldn’t agree more 💜
I kept reading the daily reading . . . and forgetting to post here. Catching up now!
I have taken on a habit to, in general, dive into books 100% blind. SOMETIMES, I’ll read the monthly hint summary given, but usually not even that. So, the phoenix thing and twin/two swords thing are new to me, but I’m suuuuuuuper intrigued. To provent getting too spoilery, since I read this section a few days ago now, I’ll end this here. But I’m enjoying it so far!
Glad to hear you’re enjoying it! 💜
I think i read somewhere that this was going to be a slow burn romance but i would have loved it if Ahn was Atlan’s twin sister, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. There was a lot of information in these first chapters, ut i am looking forward to reading further