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Xiran Jay Zhao Books In Order

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Publication Order of Iron Widow Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Xiran Jay Zhao

Largely writing science-fiction and fantasy novels, Xiran Jay Zhao is a Chinese-Canadian author who has a lot to say for themselves. With a strong online presence, they’re known for their work as a YouTuber, before turning to genre fiction deeply rooted in Chinese folklore. Making a name and brand for themselves, they’re really managed to create an impact with their work, appealing to readers from around the world. This has allowed them to really develop a style that is wholly unique and idiosyncratic, making it entirely singular to them.

Finding their audience, they’ve become known for their imaginative style that really captures the attention of the reader almost immediately. Writing for a long time, they’ve got a strong and articulate voice that really resonates with readers from all around the world. Setting themselves apart, they’ve managed to establish their own niche and unique approach to writing, as well as speaking publicly too. With hundreds and thousands of subscribers online, they reach an increasingly large audience that stretches all over the world.

All of this has led to them becoming a bestselling novelist, as they’ve become hugely successful on a global level. Their stories features a whole range of different themes and ideas, as they say precisely what it is that they want to say. While doing this they never forget to keep their reader entertained, allowing them to essentially get lost in their immersive and expansive worlds. With lots more to come still, they really aren’t finishing writing any time soon either, as they will continue writing for some years to come.

Early and Personal Life

Born on the 29th of September in 1997, they would come to live in Vancouver at a young age after their parents emigrated there. Moving from a small-town in China, they would come to show a keen interest in both reading and writing from a young age. This would develop throughout their life, and they would later come to study at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, whereby they’d graduate with a degree in biochemical disease.

Over time many of their books would come to be deeply rooted in Chinese folklore, as they’d draw from their own roots and history. Developing a following on YouTube and online, their profile would rise fast, as they’d quickly become a highly popular figure. Still writing, speaking, and presenting to this day, there’s plenty more planned on the horizon, as their career grows from strength-to-strength.

Writing Career

It was in 2021 that Xiran Jay Zhao would publish their first novel, aiming it at the Young Adult demographic, and it would be a fantasy. Using a lot of Chinese folklore to underpin its narrative, it moves along at an entertaining pace, keeping the reader hooked every step of the way. It would also be the first in the ‘Iron Window’ series, which would have the same name as the book, setting up not just Zhao’s career as a writer, but a new franchise too.

Later they would follow this up in 2022 with another fantasy novel, which would be another stand-alone fantasy, this time aimed at middle-grade readers. Reaching a huge audience worldwide, it would help to build Zhao’s loyal following of readers from all over, marking them as a definite writer to watch. Their trademark wit and intelligence would fast come to be recognized by many, as they continue to maintain a profile both online and off.

Iron Widow

Setting up the ‘Iron Widow’ series of books, this would be first brought out in 2021 on the 21st of September through the ‘Penguin Press’ publishing label. It would also work to establish the writing career of Xiran Jay Zhao, as it would be their big literary debut, introducing them to the reading public at large for the first time. Creating a whole world with the book, Zhao manages to setup the general tone and atmosphere that was follow in the stories to come.

Constantly dreaming of teaming up with the girls to battle with the mecha aliens beyond the Great Wall, the Huaxia boys want to pilot their own Chrysalises, despite the mental strain it puts on the pilots. That’s when Zetian, an eighteen year-old concubine pilot, looks to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sisters death. Using the psychic link pilots to kill him, she emerges unscathed, and is subsequently branded the ‘Iron Widow,’ with her being someone who can sacrifice male pilots to keep the robots powered. Will she be able to control the power within her though, how will she fare with fellow ace pilot Li Shimin, and what will become of the Iron Widow?

This book is really fun, with well written characters and an entertaining premise filled with both imagination and intrigue. Introducing Zhao as a writer for the first time too, it’s a great opening novel for their career as an author, showing a clear sign of what’s to come. With strong characters and an immersive plot, it’s definitely a worthwhile fantasy adventure for those looking for something a little different.

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor

Originally published through the ‘Margaret K. McElderry Books’ publishing imprint, this was initially released in 2022 on the 3rd of May. Working as a stand-alone fantasy novel, it was primarily aimed at middle-grade readers, as it’s a story focused on a young audience. Featuring a self-contained narrative, it’s a must for not only fans of the author, but of the fantasy genre as a whole too.

With him having been disconnected from his Chinese roots and heritage in the past, Zachary Ying is surprised to discover that he’s set to host the spirit of the Emperor of China during a vital mission. Taking place in the following Ghost Month, he must seal the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld, and he’s drastically underprepared. Not binding to Zach, but to his AR gaming headset instead, the Emperor communicates with him, as they must save the soul of Zach’s mother from demons. Will they be able to work together to achieve this, can they save her in time and seal the portal, and what will become of Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Xiran Jay Zhao

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