Ebony Gate by Julia Vee, Ken Bebelle: Exhilarating Action

Emiko Soong belongs to one of the eight premier magical families of the world. But Emiko never needed any magic. Because she is the Blade of the Soong Clan. Or was. Until she’s drenched in blood in the middle of a market in China, surrounded by bodies and the scent of blood and human waste as a lethal perfume.

The Butcher of Beijing now lives a quiet life in San Francisco, importing antiques. But when a shinigami, a god of death itself, calls in a family blood debt, Emiko must recover the Ebony Gate that holds back the hungry ghosts of the Yomi underworld. Or forfeit her soul as the anchor.

What’s a retired assassin to do but save the City by the Bay from an army of the dead?

In Ebony Gate, Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle offer up exhilarating action set in a fantastic Urban Fantasy setting. Ebony Gate is book one of the Phoenix Hoard and right from the second you pick it up, it grabs your attention and you will not be able to put it down. The main character, Emiko Soong, is incredibly engaging and her actions compelling. The world is immersive, wonderfully absorbing and the descriptions are beautiful and full of complexity. 

The action of the novel is fast paced and reads much like Jim Butcher meets Big Trouble in Little China. I love the descriptions of dragon magic and the various types of skills the different magic users have. And I love the twists and turns in the story. While there is one element that is predictable, it is honestly set up as an expectation of the novel and if it hadn’t happened, it would have left readers disappointed. I loved how the story is resolved and how Emiko Soong solves the situation and comes into her own. 

If you love The Dresden Files, John Wick, or Seanan McGuire, I guarantee you will love this Asian inspired urban fantasy. It is compelling, exciting, has exhilarating action and is full of emotion. Emiko is a complex and endearing character who will stick with you long after you finish the story. I highly recommend the book and can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Foo Dragons

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