"Daughter of Xanadu is brilliant. . . I feel that I have just come out of a really engaging, fun, stimulating and entertaining history lesson. I can say that the story was told with care. . . . I felt as though I was there, right where everything was happening."
"I greatly enjoyed this swashbuckling tale of medieval China. Emmajin is a passionate, strong heroine facing difficult life choices as she is torn between her own ambition, what society and her family expect of her, and her forbidden attraction to a foreigner. Marco Polo himself has great appeal as a foil to the valiant Emmajin."
Amy of Feathered Quill gave it 5 stars on amazon and wrote:
"Dori Jones Yang has done an outstanding job of combining a romance that is truly larger than life, with a famous historical backdrop that will offer young adults an amazing look at an Empire that, for a time, held the power of the universe in its hands. . . .
Gabrielle of The Mod Podge Bookshelf, gave it 5 stars and wrote:
"Emmajin is fierce, beautiful and has the depth to work through major issues such as religion, love, trust, honor, peace and grief. Though Emmajin is not strictly a historical figure, she comes alive in Daughter of Xanadu."
This blog post also includes photos of the actor and actress this blogger thinks should star as Marco and Emmajin! Check it out.
"Daughter of Xanadu tells an enthralling story which is unique in so many ways. A lot YA historical fiction seems to be set in Victorian England or America, so it was really refreshing to read a novel set in a time and place of history I knew almost nothing about-- the Mongolian Empire in the time of Kublai Khan. . . . The story is fast-paced and addictive."
"This book was fantastic. Emmajin was a wonderful, strong female character, worthy of any young girl's admiration.
Emmajin is a strong female character who struggles to find her place in a male dominated society. She must decide where her loyalty lies, as she deals with love and loss, grows and matures, and learns about the true reality of war.”
"I'll be looking for more by this author - I loved the way she wrote, I loved Emmajin's voice and the story had me flipping pages with excitement, anxious to learn more of the story.”
“Writing in a style easily accessible to modern readers, Dori Jones Yang tells the surprisingly deep story of a girl caught between warring desires, who learns that dreams may change and that things are hardly ever what they seem.”
“I was intrigued by the catching of "dragons" for their gallbladders for medicinal purposes, the use of "rat fire," and the army's cutting off of enemies' ears for souvenirs. There's also a shocking story about cats on fire. . . . it's a tale about a girl finding herself, experiencing forbidden love, breaking male/female barriers, and experiencing loss.”
Joy wrote on goodreads:
“LIKES: the vivid, fabulously original mongol-empire setting. this is fantastically foreign for me, and for most YA readers. . .the cross-cultural interaction was impressively realistic. you could feel the distance between one reality and the other.”
“I didn't have time to read this book this week. . . . Once I started it I was hooked and wanted to finish it so I sacrificed some sleep to get it read. . . Dori Jones Yang did a fantastic job writing this book. Fabulous character development, interesting details, lots of adventure with a little romance kept me interested the entire read.”
"I love how Emmajin is both iron-strong and vulnerable as a heroine. Some books with warrior girls make them nearly infallible, but Emmajin messes up bigtime on a number of occasions. . . This book is superb. . . The author successfully builds anticipation through the whole novel, and any fan of historical fiction will want to track down this book for their keeper shelf."
Liz wrote on goodreads.com:
“This book is the story of one girl’s fight to gain a place in a society that only accepts men. . . There is also just the right amount of romance to change it from only war and action to a tale of Romeo and Juliet . . .”
“I thought that Emmajin was a great character, and we see a lot of growth in her over the course of the story. . . . Eventually, Emmajin learns the hard way that battle is not all glory. The enemies have faces, lives, and stories of their own.”
"In Dori Jones Yang's Daughter of Xanadu, a girl's desire to escape her destiny as a woman and become a warrior clashes with her dawning understanding of how much people can be hurt in war. . . . Movies and video games often portray warfare as an exciting pursuit in which girls, too, can shine. The young Mongol princess Emmajin seems very modern sometimes in her longing to join the boys in their martial adventures, but like young women serving in today's military, she learns war is not as glorious as she thought."