Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Genre: Adult High Fantasy
Series: 3 Kingdoms #1
Source: Received a print copy for free from the author in exchange for an honest review
One thrill after the next!
Never expected to like this book as much as I did. I mean, wow! I was taken by complete surprise!
This is my first Asian-influenced high fantasy and will probably be the only one I ever read for fear that someone might ruin the feels for me. When I signed up to review this book, I was sure it was going to be a three star like so many tour books I receive. I was so so wrong! This book was wonderful from start to finish, and can I just say it now, hilarious!
The story starts off with Yi, a retired soldier from the World Emperor's army, returning home to find his wife and daughter slaughtered by a faction that wished to obtain something in Yi's possession but failed. It's always a gamble starting a book off with a tragedy, but I'm glad the author went there. Sometimes you just have to punch readers in the face first, then tell the rest of the story.
Yi was a very serious character with an understated sense of humor that had me cracking up. When he rescued Tulip, a little girl born in a brothel, the real fun began! Tulip was curious and direct. She asked some of the most embarrassing questions and I swear, I cried laughing at some of Yi's reactions. Then there were the sweet moments where they were like a father and a daughter and I just really enjoyed those little special points in the book. Tulip's curiosity also put her in some pretty dangerous situations during their adventures together, but then again, everything Tulip did was done out of pure naivety. You just had to love her for it.
I totally fell in love with this beautiful, treacherous world. The author described each setting in just enough detail to for me to picture where the characters were, never overdoing it. I really liked how there was a World Kingdom and a Sky Kingdom. The sky shaman flew around on clouds and had some pretty cool abilities even if they were the bad guys in this book. But Yi was pretty bad ass himself. He could wield a sword like none other and suffered no qualms about taking off heads. I just adore warriors like that *le sigh*
The kylin (Chinese dragons with antlers) were AWESOME! I loved "seeing" Yi's kylin, Fire Foot, go crazy after he got charged up with lightning (the kylin's favorite "treat"). The author's description of the beast was magical and I could picture it clearly in my mind. Always a plus. Besides...I LOVE DRAGONS! You can't really go wrong with a story when a dragon is involved.
This series is called "3 Kingdoms" so I wonder what the next kingdom will be? We already have World and Sky...water, maybe? I would feel really stupid if this was mentioned in the book and I looked all over it.
Overall, this book was great! I don't give 5 stars often, so it's clear I enjoyed this one! There's action, political intrigue, and humor. The writing was fantastic to me. The author didn't waste time trying to show us how many big words she knew, but made it mature enough that I didn't feel like I was being spoken down to. Basically, this author knows how to write. There wasn't anything I can say bad about this book except that I wished it was longer! I so wasn't ready for it to end. Crazy excited for the next one!