My first exposure to Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia was via blogs: The publisher had changed the cover of her novel, taking the obviously Asian-inspired, gorgeous cover art and replacing it with a more trendy and generic black cover.I'm still sort of angry on the behalf of all of us for that change.There are trends in young adult fiction at the moment: paranormal creatures; sweet smart love stories ...Silver Phoenix is none of those things, and I feel the cover should have reflected that.Any adult who's read Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife or Peony in Love Lisa See's Peony in Love may see Silver Phoenix as a young adult version: Asian mythology. They couldn't be more wrong.In a world of young adult fiction, Pon's Ai Ling is a kick-@ss, screw traditions, historical Asian version of Buffy. She may have two male travel companions on her journey to meet her father, but she's the one who does most of the saving. Bella Swan this girl is most definitely NOT. She may occasionally doubt herself and her abilities, but when the chips are down, she pulls it together and relies on the strength she has inside.The first third of the book may move a little slowly, as Pon is building a really complicated world. Getting through it is well worth it, however, as Ai Ling is the heroine EVERY young adult book for girls should feature. If Ai Ling read Twilight, I think she would burn it. So yes, Silver Phoenix should have been able to keep its original cover. It has an original character, an original story, and should stand head and shoulders above the trendier heroines looking for a man to make their world complete. Ai Ling, and Pon, do it all on their own.