From bestselling authors Janie Chang and Kate Quinn, a thrilling and unforgettable narrative about the intertwined lives of two wronged women, spanning from the chaos of the San Francisco earthquake to the glittering palaces of Versailles.
San Francisco, 1906. In a city bustling with newly minted millionaires and scheming upstarts, two very different women hope to change their fortunes: Gemma, a golden-haired, silver-voiced soprano whose career desperately needs rekindling, and Suling, a petite and resolute Chinatown embroideress who is determined to escape an arranged marriage. Their paths cross when they are drawn into the orbit of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate whose extraordinary collection of Chinese antiques includes the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace.
His patronage offers Gemma and Suling the chance of a lifetime, but their lives are thrown into turmoil when a devastating earthquake rips San Francisco apart and Thornton disappears, leaving behind a mystery reaching further than anyone could have imagined . . . until the Phoenix Crown reappears five years later at a sumptuous Paris costume ball, drawing Gemma and Suling together in one last desperate quest for justice.
About the authors
Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, The Rose Code, and The Diamond Eye. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.
Janie Chang writes historical novels that draw upon family history for inspiration. She grew up listening to stories about ancestors who encountered dragons, ghosts, and immortals, and about family life in a small Chinese town in the years before the Second World War. Her second novel, Dragon Spring Road, was released in January 2017. Her first novel, Three Souls was a finalist for the 2013 BC Book Prizes fiction award, one of 9 Canadian novels long listed for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Born in Taiwan, Janie has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and New Zealand. She now lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada with her husband and Mischa, a rescue cat who thinks the staff could be doing a better job.
"An irresistible proposition for a gifted operatic soprano. The double lives of a talented young Chinese woman and her artist lover. A tenacious, globe-trotting female botanist. The legendary crown of an Empress. The devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the ensuing rampant, deadly fire. Brilliant authors Kate Quinn and Janie Chang weave these threads together into seamless, page-turning masterpiece of history and suspense -- shot through with women rising up from the margins of society to claim their own singular futures. I could not put this triumphant novel down." — Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of THE FIRST LADIES and THE MITFORD AFFAIR
"Oh my goodness, I couldn’t put this book down! Heart-pounding, gasp-out-loud storytelling—THE PHOENIX CROWN is the best book I've read all year." — Victoria Christopher Murray, New York Times bestselling author of THE FIRST LADIES and THE MITFORD AFFAIR
"When two masters of historical fiction team up, it’s like 1+1=1000. I’m in awe of this impeccably researched, magnificently rendered, and breathlessly paced tale that kept me up late into the night reading, reflecting, and delving into the haunting true stories that inspired this novel. I cannot wait to recommend The Phoenix Crown to my own book club."
— Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy