Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

 The Fire Horse Girl

Title: The Fire Horse Girl 
Author: Kay Honeyman
 Arthur A. Levine Books
Publishing Date: January 1st 2013
Pages: 336
Genre:  Ya Historical Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Hardcover


A fiery and romantic adventure, perfect for fans of Grace Lin, Kristen Cashore, or Lisa See!

Jade Moon is a Fire Horse -- the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, willful, and far too imaginative. But while her family despairs of marrying her off, she has a passionate heart and powerful dreams, and wants only to find a way to make them come true.

Then a young man named Sterling Promise comes to their village to offer Jade Moon and her father a chance to go to America. While Sterling Promise's smooth manners couldn't be more different from her own impulsive nature, Jade Moon falls in love with him on the long voyage. But America in 1923 doesn't want to admit many Chinese, and when they are detained at Angel Island, the "Ellis Island of the West," she discovers a betrayal that destroys all her dreams. To get into America, much less survive there, Jade Moon will have to use all her stubbornness and will to break a new path . . . one as brave and dangerous as only a Fire Horse girl can imagine.

Not my normal read, but I decided to take a chance. I am so happy I did. I was amazed by this book and inspired by Jade Moon’s strength and determination along with her honesty and loyalty. The story is full moments of intensity, moments of truth, and moments of enchantment. Don’t let the cover fool you. This book is a must read.

Set in the early 1920’s Jade Moon lives in a small village in china. She was born with the Fire Horse Sign, a sign a girl should never be cursed with. She is considered a danger, a nuisance, nothing but trouble. She is now 17 years old and her father is desperately trying to find her a husband. Out of options her father makes a decision that will put Jade Moon, Her father, and her adopted cousin, Sterling Promise on a boat to America. Jade Moon is ecstatic, she look at this as a chance to start over, no one will know of her or her cursed Fire Horse Sign. They leave the village for a long journey just to be stuck on an island built like a prison for even longer. America is not what she thought or dreamed.

Wow and wow over again. I never imagined I would love this book as much as I did. It was a wonderful surprise. I was trapped by the first page, the first sentence even. I couldn’t put it down! This is not your typical love story, it is not your normal coming of age book, not your average historical fiction. It has the best of all these worlds. The writing is just superb and I clung to every word. The story gave me tingles, caused a few tears, and angered me at moments like no other book. In the end I was in awe not knowing what to do next. I just sat there holding the book closed, staring at the walls, just trying to breathe. The world the author journeyed me through was a world I never really thought about even though I knew it had to of existed. A world of discrimination, betrayal, secrets, and so much more.

The book has many characters but really there was only one who stole the show. Jade Moon is by far one of the best characters I have come to know. She is strong, stubborn, loyal, loving, brave…oh so brave. I loved living with her as she became an exceptional woman. She starts off stubborn and strong, so much so no one wants to marry her. She has to endure so much to find her place in the world. She comes from a culture where family honor is the most important thing and that girls are meant to marry and continue the family line. She knows where her place is in China, but she wants so much more. She wants love, freedom, a life where she is more than a mother and a wife. She finds her place and when she does it’s a whopper of a tale.

The only thing that this book was lacking on for me was Sterling Promise. He is a big part of the story but not a big part of the book. He is in the beginning and in the end and when he is there , it’s wonderful. In the beginning I wanted to hate him, fear him, stay away from him. In the end I was wrapped around his little finger. Someone I thought was a coward and a con man turned out to be so much more. I wish there had been more, but what I did get of him was awesome and it will have to be enough.

This may not be your regular type of book, but really read it, give it chance, you just may find yourself in awe like me.


  1. I love books with Chinese history or based off of China, but they seem to be hard to find. I'll definitely give this one a go! Cant' wait to get my hands on it.

  2. Judging on the cover, I wouldn't read this book. Judging by the blurb, I wouldn't read this book. Judging by your review, I cannot wait to read it. Historical fiction is normally out of my comfort zone, but I love strong leading characters. Add in beautiful descriptions and writing and I'm sold. Awesome review. Thanks for putting this book on my radar.


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