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Julie C. Dao books in order

Julie C. Dao is a Vietnamese-American author of young adult fantasy and children’s fiction.

Despite igniting a passion for storytelling at the age of eight when she discovered the works of Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the Choose Your Own Adventure books, Julie somehow ended up studying medicine in college–albeit at the insistence of her parents.

However, knowing what her true calling was, she worked in science news and research by day and pursued her fiction writing dreams by night.

Now the critically acclaimed of several books, her novels have appeared on a number of best-of-year lists, including YALSA and the American Library Association.

Originally from upstate New York, Julie currently lives in New England.

More about Julie C. Dao

Genres: Children's Book, Fiction, Young Adult

United States


Non Series

  • Song of the Crimson Flower (2019)


  1. Broken Wish (2020)

Rise of the Empress

  1. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (2017)
  2. Kingdom of The Blazing Phoenix (2018)

Team Chu

  1. Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena (2023)
  2. Team Chu and the Epic Hero Quest (2023)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Song of the Crimson Flower

Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician's apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman's daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao's prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest's Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that's been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

In this fantastical tale of darkness and love, some magical bonds are stronger than blood.

Author: Julie C. Dao
First Release: 2019
Publisher: Philomel Books


Broken Wish

Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow...

When Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner―none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it’s too late.

Here the complete list of books in the series:

1. Broken Wish (2020) by Julie C Dao

2. Shattered Midnight (2022) by Dhonielle Clayton

3. Fractured Path (2022) by J C Cervantes

4. Splintered Magic (2023) by L L McKinney

Author: Julie C. Dao
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1368046398
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Rise of the Empress

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.

Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? 

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Author: Julie C. Dao
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1524738310
Publisher: Speak
Kingdom of The Blazing Phoenix

This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn't want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. 

Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

Author: Julie C. Dao
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1524738341
Publisher: Penguin Books

Team Chu

Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena

Clip and Sadie Chu couldn’t be more different. Popular, athletic Clip wants to become his school’s first seventh-grade soccer captain, while brainy star student Sadie is determined to prove that she can do anything her boastful brother can.

They have just one thing in common: they love laser tag. Like, really love it.

When the Blackwood Gaming Arena comes to town, bringing virtual reality headsets and state-of-the-art courses, they couldn’t be more excited―or competitive. But then a mysterious figure appears and claims to be a part of the game, forcing the Chus and their friends to save themselves from a sinister force lurking inside the simulation. Together, they must fight their way through epic battlegrounds that will test their speed, skills, and smarts . . . but will Clip and Sadie learn that they’re far better off working together than competing for the ultimate victory?

Author: Julie C. Dao
First Release: 2023
ISBN: 978-1250805454
Publisher: Square Fish
Team Chu and the Epic Hero Quest

In Team Chu and the Epic Hero Quest, the popular fantasy video game War of Gods and Men is being adapted for reality television. Team Chu and company are competing for the title of child hero: the young person destined to unite the forces of Pantaera to save it from a sinister fate. Over the next week, they’ll be challenged by sirens, vampires, elves, and more in Tests of Courage, Determination, Humility, Intelligence, and Strength.

Popular athlete Clip is confident he’ll take the prize, if it weren’t for that test of humility. And despite claiming not to care about the game, Sadie finds herself pulled into the immersive world of Pantaera and rising to meet the challenges thrown her way. And her best friend, Jeremy, proud nerd and last pick for P.E. teams, wants more than anything to save the world of the game he loves, no matter the cost.

Join Clip, Sadie, Jeremy, and their friends on a thrilling adventure through an extraordinary fantasy world to learn who among them has what it takes to become Pantaera's child hero!

Author: Julie C. Dao
First Release: 2023
Ebook: B0B6SK9WGT
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux