Silver Phoenix sounds interesting, especially since I've been looking for East Asian-based fantasy worlds and novels to read lately (too many medieval/classical era-based books start to get repetitive after a while, unless they're R.Scott Bakker or George RR Martin).
How is the prose? Does it flow well, have any annoying "tics" to it? That's usually something that will turn me off of reading a book - unless weird prose makes sense in terms of where it is presented in the book, it just drags me out of the story while reading it.
except for the half-white Chen Yong
Interesting. When you talk about how it is an alternate world modeled on the Chinese Empire, do you mean in the way that Guy Gavriel Kay does some of his fantasy (where the actual historical events and the story in general are pretty close), or how, say, Martin does it (where the War of the Roses and certain historical figures were inspirations, but there's no one-to-one correspondence)?
I'm afraid I can't say much about the prose. I tend not to notice it much in general unless there are a lot of grammatical errors or several annoying tics (there are some authors I can't read because they do something like use a comma where I think a semicolon should be). There are several descriptive passages of great beauty, mostly concerning the divine beings and places.
I don't know enough about Chinese history to be sure; the food and the clothing and the writing and the character names are Chinese, and I think it's Martin-like more than Kay-like, but again, there may be history influencing the narrative that I don't know about. In general, the characters deal so much with magic and demons that I would imagine the correspondence is not very close.