The Phoenix and the Firebird

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Pub Date 20 Aug 2024 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2024

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Description

War and revolution took almost everything from them. Now they must brave a world of magic and monsters to save what’s left.

A bullet-riddled train staggers into the station, delivering an ominous message that will change Lucy Markov’s destiny: her father, a Russian officer, has been kidnapped. A refugee who lost so much before she found a home in China, Lucy refuses to lose her last remaining family. Guided by a mysterious feather, she must cross into an enchanted realm to find him.

Lucy’s quick-witted, spirited friend Su joins her quest. Following the clues, they discover a warlord commanding an army of human soldiers and magical beasts has seized Lucy’s father – and now plots to invade their city. To save her father and their home, Lucy and Su must confront the criminal underworld, cross a haunted forest, and outsmart creatures they thought lived only in fairytales. With each step closer to the warlord’s lair, dangers test their courage and their bonds to each other. Will they unlock the secrets of the feather in time?

The Phoenix and the Firebird melds the turmoil of 1920s China with the majesty of Slavic and Chinese myth. Join Lucy and Su as they soar into a world woven from history and folklore, and learn whether friendship is the strongest weapon of all.


War and revolution took almost everything from them. Now they must brave a world of magic and monsters to save what’s left.

A bullet-riddled train staggers into the station, delivering an ominous...


A Note From the Publisher

Alexis Kossiakoff and Scott Forbes Crawford spent more than a decade living in China. Alexis’ research into the history of her family, who escaped from revolution and war in Russia to China, inspired the writing of The Phoenix and the Firebird. Scott grew up in Japan and studied at a Chinese university. He is the author of the novel Silk Road Centurion (“compulsive reading due to its many colorful characters and twisting plot points” – Taipei Times), a history book on ancient China (“a simply fascinating read from beginning to end” – Midwest Book Review), and numerous fantasy, adventure, and mystery short stories. He’s also an award-winning poet. Scott and Alexis live in Japan with their daughter.

Alexis Kossiakoff and Scott Forbes Crawford spent more than a decade living in China. Alexis’ research into the history of her family, who escaped from revolution and war in Russia to China, inspired...


Advance Praise

“With cinematographic crispness, this romantic vision of a distant time and culture conjures up a tale of friendship, family, and magic. Stay up all night to read it, and you’ll freshly understand the old Russian adage, ‘The morning is wiser than the night.’ I was enchanted.”

—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

“A joy from start to finish! The world was brilliantly imagined, the plot filled with excitement and I loved the fusion of Chinese and Russian folklore. A vivid and exciting adventure story—kids will love it!”

—Abi Elphinstone, author of Sky Song

“A Peking caught between an imperial city and a new republic; a world where harsh reality mingles with myth and magic. Warlords, exiled Russians, gangsters, a child in search of her father. There are worlds within worlds in old Peking – real and imagined. Kossiakoff and Crawford bring them all together and to life.”

—Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking and City of Devils

“The magical story, told in melodic prose, held this reader rapt with wonder throughout. An absolute gem of a read!”

—Alice Poon, author of The Heavenly Sword and The Earthly Blaze

“With cinematographic crispness, this romantic vision of a distant time and culture conjures up a tale of friendship, family, and magic. Stay up all night to read it, and you’ll freshly understand...


Available Editions

EDITION Ebook
ISBN 9789888843855
PRICE US$6.99 (USD)
PAGES 220

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Average rating from 11 members


Featured Reviews

As a Russian girl living in China, if it weren’t for her best friend, Su, then Lucy would be totally isolated. She’s lived away from Russia and her father, but finally the day arrives when he will return. However, when Lucy waits at the train station, the unthinkable happens: young fighting men have been stolen and forced into the terrible army of the criminal warlord known as Taotie. A man named after a mythical creature of insatiable greed. 👹 Lucy knows her father has been taken, because he leaves behind a feather from the legendary firebird, a revered creature in Russian folklore, known for bringing good fortune. 🐦‍🔥

🥟 She sets out on an adventure across China to take him back, and is joined by not only her best friend, but a mysterious gangster whose precious horse has also been taken by Taotie. But even this man has secrets of his own. In a world full of mythical creatures and magic, who can Lucy trust?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As someone who has lived abroad in China I was so excited to read this book, and even more privileged to do so ahead of publication day!
This is a fast-paced adventurous story, but along the way you are introduced to famous Chinese poetry, as well as folklore from both China and Russia. 🇷🇺 ❤️ 🇨🇳
The blend of both cultures was wonderful to read, as were the vivid descriptions of scenery that popped-out on page. 👀

A particularly interesting touch was the authors connection to China, with Russian relatives fleeing to Harbin, a haven for many Russian refugees, before eventually relocating to America over time. The tribute to her grandfather, and her own years in China was so touching! 😊

I wish this book every success once it hits the shelves later this year!

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This is a fantastic middle-grade fairy tale adventure drawing on Russian and Chinese folk traditions. A refugee Russian girl is waiting for her father to join her in China after the Russian Revolution, only her father doesn't arrive, and it seems as if he has been captured by an evil warlord. So, she sets off to find him and rescue him, in a forest full of strange creatures. The story is inspired by one of the authors' ancestors, and a brief memoir section after the story shows images of some of the people who inspired the story's characters. I really enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to several people.

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The story follows Lucy and Su as they go on this adventure of sorts to save her father who has been captured. This is your typical middle grade adventure novel, there was a call to action and the story follows the ensuing events. However, I would argue that this story goes beyond the cliché a bit. It blends historical events of the early 20th century (Fall of the Qing Dynasty and Russian Revolution), with folklore from China and Russia into this fantastical story. This is an absolutely fantastic read!


This was such a joy to read! It was breath of fresh air among everything else that I have read recently! Also kudos to the author for providing the glossary of mythical creatures from each folk tradition. It was a nice touch to have along with the explanations of each.
5/5

Thank you NetGalley and Earnshaw books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

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hank you to Netgalley, Earnshaw Books, Alexis Kossiakoff and Scott Forbes Crawford for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is a fantastic middle-grade adventure story that skilfully blends historical fiction and fantasy genres by tying the story very closely to a specific point in the early 20th century and both Russian and Chinese folklore. Following the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the Russian Revolution, both Lucy, our Russian refugee main character, and her Chinese best friend, Su, are struggling to find a place in a tumultuous new world. When Lucy's father is abducted by a shadowy War Lord known as Taotie, Lucy is determined to rescue him. Armed with only the mysterious feather that she believes her father left for her to find on his doomed train carriage, she sets out on a journey that will take her far from the city and deep into a landscape inhabited by strange and powerful creatures of Chinese mythology.

Lucy and Su's friendship is the real heart of this story, and I loved getting to see them challenge, test and strengthen each other as the story progressed. There were plenty of adventurous twists and turns, daring escapes, surprising allies, ambiguously trustworthy allies turning friends, tense battles and epic heroic moments. I absolutely loved going on an adventure through Chinese and Russian folklore with Lucy, Su and Vlad and would really recommend this book to any readers looking for fantasy and adventure on the upper end of middle-grade.

The Phoenix and the Firebird is expected to be published on August 20, 2024.

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