Can’t Wait Wednesday #2 : “Phoenix Extravagant” by Yoon Ha Lee

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, and is all about casting a spotlight on books we have yet to read, especially ones that haven’t been released yet.

This Wednesday, I can’t wait for…


Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes — and the awful source of the magical pigments they use — they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…

Release Date

October 20, 2020

Why I Can’t Wait

Nonbinary protagonist! Art! Mechanical dragons! Rebellion!

This book seems to be inspired by Japan’s occupation of Korea, though with obvious fantastical elements. I absolutely love automatons and statues and all sort of things that move and act and obey their creators… and potentially become endowed with free will. I’m very curious about the relationship between Jebi, the artist, and Arazi the dragon automaton.

Also, as much as I like steampunk, I have never read a silkpunk book before, and I have high hopes for Phoenix Extravagant in that area. I’m hoping for an in-depth and profound look at the horrors of military occupation, colonization, and the imbalance of the relationship between colonizer and native. I am expecting a four star read, but with topics like these to tackle I think Phoenix Extravagant could easily be a five star read as well.

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