Kingdom of Blood and Gold
(Penguin Random House SEA, 2023)
Five Elementals. A fallen kingdom. One survivor to restore it.
Following the events of last winter, Desert Rose flees the Oasis Kingdom with the rogue prince Wei, his mother, and a newfound magical power in tow.
When she learns that her father’s soul is trapped in the Darklands and can only be freed if the prophesied Elemental finds the spring, Desert Rose sets out to eliminate the other Elementals—starting with the one found in Oasis Kingdom’s biggest enemy, Lettoria.
Meanwhile, in the Oasis Kingdom, newly crowned emperor Meng finds his position jeopardised by the return of his older brother, the exiled Prince Han. To secure the throne (and his life), he travels to Lettoria with his secret assassin Windshadow and proposes an alliance.
As their fates cross again, Desert Rose and Windshadow must join hands to defeat the Metal Elemental while Wei and Meng collude to restore the kingdom—and home—they left behind. But when Lettoria and Oasis Kingdom finally clash in a long-brewing war, Han reveals his dark ambition and a secret weapon that will unmake the kingdom and threaten the fates of all involved … a weapon that only an Elemental can destroy.
Cover art © 2023 by Manasi Mathur
They say the second book in a trilogy is the hardest to write. They say each book makes you learn something new. Both observations, I've come to find, are true.
Writing KINGDOM allowed me to linger in this world I'd created, but also to develop it further and dive deeper into each character's psyche. It made me read Sun-Tzu's The Art of War from start to finish, read up on political espionages, covert military operations, and still I feel like I've barely just scratched the surface.
Writing KINGDOM was a learning process, but also a continuation of my love for Asian historical dramas and fascination with its culture and history. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it!
Murder, death, persecution, torture, stabbing, classism, death of a loved one
Praise for KINGDOM OF BLOOD AND GOLD
"LAND OF SAND AND SONG by Joyce Chua is one of those classic YA fantasies that is fast-paced and action packed, and slips in all the fun tropes and character dynamics. I also really enjoyed how it was a quick read but still honed in on creating an Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with history and gorgeous mythology and culture. I loved when they paused to talk about lore and magic — it just really made the world so much deeper."
—C.G. Drews, author of A Thousand Perfect Notes and The Boy Who Steals Houses
"Joyce spins an enchanting tale of magic, vengeance and romance in this new Asian fantasy world. Land of Sand and Song is brilliantly written with compelling characters, and you’ll find it hard to put down this book once you pick it up."
—Leslie W, author of The Night of Legends
"Joyce Chua is a masterful wordsmith who understands the craft. Be prepared to lose yourself in her words, be sucked into her world, and find yourself a part of this epic journey."
—Ning Cai, author of the Savant Trilogy