Review – Phoenix Extravagant

I’ve had my eyes on this author for a while now but never seemed to get the oppertunity to read any of their books. Now I have 🙂

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.

Phoenix Extravagant

by Yoon Ha Lee

Dragons. Art. Revolution.

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…

  • the art
  • The dragon
  • pacifism

This is a new to me author and I had no idea what to expect going in. The book itself was really good. I loved so many things about it but also felt just ok with a lot of things as well. The focus on pacifism was interesting and not entirely expected, and I loved that.

The story follows a younger sibling who tried to evolve out from under their bigger sisters firm rule so to speak. they try to do all these things to help and to be useful but ends up messing it up. But then they find their own way and follows it. Yes, things don’t always go the right way but they find happiness in the end.

The story was for the most part eventful and made sense. Apart from the ending. it was still eventful but the ending was just a bit too fantastical for my liking. It was weird. Yes, it was original but a bit far fetched in a funny way.

I loved how the story focused not on the battle princess but the pacifist sibling who just wanted to do art. That part was fun and interesting.

The worldbuilding was smooth and not too heavy which made the reading easy. I don’t remember much of the world-building as it didn’t stick out at me which is good. It flowed along with the story and didn’t feel heavy.

The magic was something I loved but also felt was brutal. The way they made that special pigment for the paint actually physically hurt me. I think it would physically hurt anyone who loves art or identify as an artist.

I liked the main character a lot but I seem to already have forgotten their name. Part of this book faded from my mind really quickly in comparison to other books. However, I do remember the character and their arty attitude; quiet (mostly), sensual, observant, physically make themselves small, etc. it was really well done.


Both queer relationships and they/them pronouns MC.

Very nicely written. I’m interested in picking up more from this author at some point as I really enjoyed the writing.

Very enjoyable read and a fun twist of the rebellion story. I loved how the main character wasn’t the war princess but rather the pacifist sister of the war princess lol.

Have you read this? What did you think?

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