By: Cait Marie
Sometimes not even love is stronger than hate.
Sometimes sacrifices must be made.
Hua Minglan is trapped, presumed dead, and back where it all started.
A place that once brought peace to her mind, a place she’d abandoned in order to seek her revenge.
But that was before. Before the dragon awoke inside her to destroy an entire village.
Before she ceded control.
And now, the dragon has a mission, one Hua must do anything to stop.
Kill the emperor.
There is one way to defeat the beast inside her.
Hua Minglan must die.
Only one man can prevent her sacrifice. As Jian Li races across Piao to save both Hua and his brother, the emperor, he knows he’ll have to choose.
Even if he chooses the right one, it might mean the end of Piao.
Because the Kou have returned, ready to finish their war.
And the only creature that can save the empire also wants it destroyed.
Dive into the second and final installment of this Mulan inspired fantasy. Beware of dragons raining fire upon you, a general who will do anything to save the woman he loves, and an emperor with a heart of gold.
I recently re-read this Mulan-inspired duology via audiobook, and since I realized I never reviewed the second book when I read it in 2020… here we are.
I want to start off by saying that retellings are my absolute favorite. I read them a lot and never tire of them. So, when I tell you this series is my favorite retelling of all time, you know that’s a big deal.
This story follows the same basic plot of what we know of Mulan. But it’s so much more than that. The author really embraced the deeper story, the culture, and world building with this series. All of the characters are so well-developed and well-written, the reader cannot help feel connected to them.
This second book is much darker than the author’s other books, but in a good way. It’s emotional and raw. You really get the fear and hopelessness, as well as love, that the characters feel.
I won’t get into details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending was beautifully done. It closed up the story nicely while also leaving a thread that could be explored more should the author ever decide to return to this world, which I sincerely hope she does. I could read about these characters forever. I selfishly want more time with Hua, Jian, Luca, and Bo.
I cannot recommend this duology enough!