Cindy Pon joins us today to share her three favorite passages from her novel Serpentine. Check out the passages and the reasons why these are Cindy’s favorite, and let us know your favorite book passages in the comments below!
The kiss itself had been chaste, like she had shared with Zhen Ni before on the cheek. But there was an undercurrent there, an expectation, a bated breath. It seemed to have stoked something deep inside of her; as if touching her mouth to someone else’s had kindled a hidden desire, dormant until now.
Cindy: I love this passage for the prose, but also because it signifies the beginning of everything for my heroine Skybright. It also speaks volumes of the relationship between Zhen Ni and her and hints at what will happen later in the story.
Smooth scales rippled over her human flesh, like dragonfly wings fluttering their way from her feet and rising to cover her abdomen. She swept both hands across her torso, the clothes having evaporated from her, and gasped. Her snake tongue darted out, oppressing her voice, and she could taste the air with it; the whiff of smoke from the snuffed lantern, the bitterness of the gardenia musk Zhen Ni had rubbed into her wrists in the morning, all tinged by the scent of her own sweat and fear.
Cindy: This is a story about metamorphosis and transformation. It is about Skybright’s journey to find the truth of her origins, but also, to find herself. I love fantasy because it gives me the freedom to write the fantastic to explore mundane themes that all people deal with, the most fundamental of which is: Who am I?
“My name is Stone,” the man’s voice said in her ear, and she lurched, lifting high on her serpent body. But no one was near her. “Say it if you need me.” And his words whorled into the night.
It was what he had tasted like on her tongue. Of earth and gravel and granite. Of dirt and pebbles and the most pristine jade. Of all the life that could spring from it. Or all that it could oppress with immoveable finality.
Cindy: One of my favorite characters in this duology, Stone came out of nowhere and surprised me when I began writing him within the story. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know him as a character and explore his personal arc in these books.
Reader, what is your favorite book passage?
About the Book:
Inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology, this sweeping fantasy is set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns 16, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell. When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
About the Author:
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. Serpentine, her latest YA fantasy from Month9Books, is a Junior Library Guild selection for Fall 2015 and received starred reviews from School Library Journal and VOYA. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at www.cindypon.com.