It’s time to talk about Mulan!
I don’t think I’ve actually read a novelised version of Mulan before so this was a first! It’s obviously not the Disney version, so don’t go in expecting a sassy talking dragon (although, truthfully, all books should have sassy talking dragons). This version of Mulan is rooted in actual history (I learned so much about China, 5th century AD) and I’m nerdy enough to admit I LOVED reading the author’s note about the research she did, the stylistic decisions made according to the time periods, the references followed, the swords admired… 😍It’s such an infamous tale and this is an interesting telling.
I also thoroughly appreciate getting to read it from an #ownvoices Chinese author too!
Things this book has:
→ two teens destined to fight each other to honour their families
→ classic Mulan dressing up as a man to go to war!
→ a soft soft princeling who says Mulan terrifies him and he has a crush on her for this 😍
→ lots of travelling and military excursions
→ lies, but also truths
→ Mulan being the smartest and most badass around
I recommend going into it expecting the emphasis to be on military excursions, travelling, and historical accuracy. My reading tastes do sway towards more faster paced books, with humour or explosions etc, but I tried to appreciate this historical fiction for what it was. However I did love that Mulan and Kai went from their family feud to quietly admitting they didn’t really want to stab each other with swords and instead maybe hold hands or something softly adorable.
Family. Honour. Loyalty. Introspection.
Thanks Allen & Unwin for the review-copy! The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas came out November, 2019!
CHINA, 484 A.D.
A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.
Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.
A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling–the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it’s too late.
Inspired by wuxia martial-arts dramas as well as the centuries-old ballad of Mulan, The Magnolia Sword is perfect for fans of Renee Ahdieh, Marie Lu, or Kristin Cashore–a thrilling, romantic, and sharp-edged novel that lives up to its beloved heroine.
| what do you think? |
I’ve decided to do more short-paced reviews to keep them accessible to busy readers! 😍 hope you like this! and tell me if you’ve read (or watched!) anything about Mulan before? do you read much historical fiction?