An Interview with C.B. Lee, Author of A Clash of Steel

September 8, 2021 | 12:00 PM

An Interview with C.B. Lee, Author of A Clash of Steel

By Team Fierce Reads
Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in A Clash of Steel, a YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island. What makes Xiang fierce? Xiang's determination to prove herself, her curiosity, and her willingness to learn makes her fierce! What's the most interesting thing you learned while researching A Clash of Steel? The rice and iron embargo between China and Vietnam during the 1800s was so interesting to me. This would have been an ideal trade situation—rice from Vietnam in exchange for iron from China was what both countries needed, with China's booming population and Vietnam's rapid infrastructure expansion, but the fact that you simply were not allowed to do it enabled smuggling for these hot-ticket items to flourish. What's your favorite part of being an author? I love storytelling, and my absolute favorite part is getting to share those stories with the world. When readers interact with a story and respond to it, in all the ways-- I think I love that the most, hearing from people what resonated with them and why, getting to be a part of their lives and their journey is such an honor. What 3 words would you use to describe A Clash of Steel? Queer sword-fighting shenanigans. A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee 1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry. But the pendant's true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang's father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—that for decades has only been a myth, a fool's journey. Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.


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