“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Lia has known she was different since the age of five when her father taught her the skills of her ancestors. His stories of heroic exploits have fueled her fantasies for years. Little did she know that her expertise would be called upon when two cities, two triads, go to war. Will it be a step too far to think she can hide who she really is?
Jaxon has known his career path since he was a little boy when his father promised his only son to the leader of the Yu Shi triad. Jaxon doesn’t mind—it allows him to center his chaotic thoughts and fight his opponents to the death. But when he’s partnered with a mysterious new recruit, he begins to question everything he knows. What is the young boy hiding from him?
Zhanzhi is a modern day retelling of the tale of Mulan for the Sinister Fairytales Collection. Warrior Lia must find her inner strength to defeat a deadly enemy, who’s been left bitter by his quest for absolute power, while at the same time falling in love when she least expects it. Nothing will be as it seems in this dark triad world where a moment’s hesitation can be your downfall.
My Review: 4 stars
This book is a modern take on Mulan. But darker.
Lia always new growing up that she would be married off and spend her life as a wife and mother. But that is not what Lia wanted. She wanted to be a warrior. To fight like her father use to. Living in America has been a blessing to her family, but they are indebted to the Yi Shu. The Yi Shu is one of two Chinese families that runs California.
When the Yi Shu comes under attack, they call out the eldest male from each family to come fight for them. Lia knows her father is to old to fight. He would be killed easily. She decides she has to take his place. Cutting her hair and running to the Yi Shu, she lies about being a man to be able to take her father’s place. (Mulan resemblance)
Jaxon has lived his life serving the Yi Shu. After his father left him with the Yi Shu to protect him, he has known no different. When tasked to train the new fighter, something about Zhan does not sit right with him.
As training goes, Jaxon and Zhan start to connect, and Jaxon starts getting confused. Why is this man making his have these feelings? (Lia is Zhan)
When the truth comes out, everything changes. But when the enemy learns that Lia is the one who killed one of their generals, he is out for revenge. (This is where the trigger warning comes into play).
Will Jaxon be able to save Lia before the enemy destroys her or will she be to broken to fix?
Overall this was a good retelling. I stayed interested in the story. I liked the characters. There was enough action and passion. Overall, a good read.
About the Author:
All I am a British author, from the depths of the rural countryside near London. In a previous life, I was an accountant from the age of twenty-one. I still do that on occasions, but most of my life is now spent intermingling writing while looking after my husband, two children and two cats (probably in the inverse order to the one listed!). When I have some spare time, I can also be found writing poetry, baking cakes (and eating them), or behind a camera snapping like a mad paparazzi.
I’m an avid reader who turned to writing to combat my depression and anxiety. I have a love of travelling and like to bring this to my stories to give them the air of reality. I like my heroes hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, my heroines demure but with spunk, and my books full of dramatic suspense.
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I never read Mulan. This story sounds intriguing and strikes me as one I would enjoy.
Ooooo I want to read this one, I still love Mulan
I think I would like this. The cover is fun, too.
I like the sound of this one – excellent reviewing, Kathy!
This isn’t the sort of cover I would normally be drawn to but having read your review, I’m very tempted to read this one.
I like retellings.
Great review, not for me as I’m not a lover of retellings.
Mulan is my favorite! I must read this immediately.
It’s a good book.
I am always on edge about retellings. I hope this one on Mulan does the original justice!
I love Mulan and I am for the retelling. Oh the cover is really deceptive though
Haven’t read this and I appreciate the trigger warning.