2.5 stars. Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan". Enjoyable enough to read.
It really focuses on Mulan and her family. I liked that a lot. Her relationships with her father, step-mother, best friend, etc. are believable and sweet. I especially liked how close her father and her became by the end of the book. And I truly appreciated the step-mother being nice and caring; not a witch.
It is pretty much all Mulan's childhood and growth into a young woman until her family receives the summons for a man from their family to go to war against the Huns. Then Mulan runs off to take her father's place; a truly generous gesture. And then the Huns attack and she kills the Hun leader and has a broken collar bone and arm and is revealed to be a woman to the Chinese Army and she professes love to Shen Jian and he professes love for her and they end up happily ever after. Pretty much like that. It is extremely rushed at the end and the story is there and then *poof* over. It needed more page time.
Had it been a 300 page book, the beginning would have been amazing. I still loved getting to know Mulan as a character before she ran off. Getting to see her in her own environment, as a child and growing up into a young woman, and learning who
she is and how she ended up the awesome way she did was very welcome. But that was 34 of the book of a 200 page book. The ending was much too rushed.
And the romance?
Oh my gosh. Jian is boring. Mulan thinks that she loves him "because their hearts beat together." Not buying that. Mulan and Jian never get to know one another and the little time they do spend together, Jian thinks Mulan is a boy. Then she's suddenly a girl and
Jian: "Insta-love! I don't know you and I thought you were a boy until about two minutes ago but, hey baby, you saved my life and
all of China, so you have got to be a great choice! Let's get married!"
Mulan: I actually kinda knew you as the person that you are right now and "loved" you before for no apparent reasoning and I didn't even know you, so this is great! Kiss me, Shen Jian!"
Romance was weak and could definitely have used some work. But the overall storystorytelling is good and it is worth a read.
I like Cameron Dokey's writing best out of all the authors that have written for the "Once Upon A Time" series. Flowing and lyrical. Love the prologues and epilogues she writes.