Review: Theo Tan and the Iron Fan by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Theo Tan and the Iron Fan by Jesse Q. Sutano

Theo Tan and the Iron Fan (Theo Tan #2)
Jesse Q. Sutanto
Feiwel & Friends
Published June 27, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Theo Tan and the Iron Fan

A Chinese American Boy and his snarky fox spirit face down demon kings as they race against time to be reunited with his brother’s spirit in Jesse Q. Sutanto’s magical, action-packed sequel to Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit.

Theo Tan and his fox spirit, Kai, are willing to go to hell and back for their family. Literally.

After exposing the corruption at Reapling Corporation and trapping the demon king Niu Mo Wang, they learn that Jamie (Theo’s beloved brother and Kai’s first human master) was not allowed to move on after death, and is now trapped in a waiting room in Diyu.

If they can reach his soul before it faces judgment on the solstice, they might be able to convince King Qingguang to send his soul back to earth! Still, a trip to Diyu is no easy matter, and Theo and Kai can’t do it alone. Fortunately, they have good friends who are happy to help.

But even with Namita’s knowledge and Danny’s powerful dragon familiar, the odds are stacked against them. Can Theo and Kai’s new bond hold up against lying demons with grudges, impatient Kings of Hell, and the wrath of the demon king’s powerful wife, Princess Iron Fan?

Theo Tan and the Iron Fan on Goodreads

My Review

I’ve heard so much about Jesse Q. Sutanto, so I am really excited that I was finally able to read one of her books. Kai’s character is a lot of fun. She makes snarky comments under her breath or in her mind a lot of the time, sometimes even leaving them in footnotes that appear at the end of her chapters. I liked that though she is prickly and particular, she is also loyal to her friends and will do whatever it takes to protect them.

I also loved the scene in which Theo and Jamie first reunite. It was so easy to feel the connection between them as brothers and the pain of their separation.

So much happens in the book. It was a wild ride from start to finish and a lot of fun too. I think readers who enjoy goofy characters and stories about folklore and mythology will find a lot to love here. It reminded me a little bit of DRAGON WARRIOR by Katie Zhao, but the voice in THEO TAN AND THE IRON FAN is a little more upbeat and goofy than in that series.

Theo Tan and the Iron Fan on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Theo and Danny are Chinese American. Namita is Indian American. Kai is a fox spirit.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently. Theo and his friends journey to hell (literally). Most uses of the word are in reference to the place.

Kai and Danny encounter a ruler of one court of hell who is badly constipated. They are tasked with providing medicine that will help him or else face torture.

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Theo and his friends journey to hell to find and free his brother’s spirit. They encounter various spirits and demons, all of whom are bent on causing suffering to the souls who inhabit the various courts of hell. One character is a fox spirit who shares a bond with Theo. Another character is a dragon spirit who shares a bond with Danny.

Violent Content
Some scenes show souls (blue translucent shapes) being tortured by a fall down a mountain of knives or being ground on a giant millstone.

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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