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Young Adult Indie 174
Dragon Rising Review
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Mulan is probably one of my favorite stories and retellings to read. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is because she gives up her identity in order to save those she loves. No matter how the story is spun, this is the typical plot. But then add dragons in? Heck yeah, I am sold. I thought this world was fantastically put together and really inspired by its roots. The inspiration is easy to see but it's also unique in its own way. The pacing started out a little slow for me. It definitely took me longer to read this book than Lynn's previous titles but I enjoyed it just as much. There really isn't a ton of action in this book as the majority takes place in the training camp. However, the ending is full of action and blood.

I enjoyed the characters for the most part. Hua was a good main character and wanted to prove herself and fight for Luna. What was nice about her character was she wasn't naive on how to fight because her father had trained her. This definitely made it more believable on how she was able to learn so fast. I also liked that she wasn't ridiculously strong and could take on these men that were bigger than her. Hua was smart and used her disadvantages to her advantage. This makes the fighting more believable. The only issues I had with her is how standoffish and disrespectful she was. I know she explained that she wasn't trying to be intimidated by the Jian but it just came off as disrespectful and a little hard to believe she got away with it. I also don't like how she considered Chen and Yan her friends but she was never really nice to them? Other than that I really did like her character. Jian was amazing as well. His disbelief in himself was disheartening but it was true to his character. I do wish he would have listened to others and realized that his brother, the emperor, wouldn't have put the whole country in his charge if he didn't believe in him. Regardless, I'm definitely anticipating the next book and how this story will conclude.

Overall, Dragon Rising by M. Lynn was an amazing Mulan retelling. The inspiration was definitely easy to see but the story was still unique to itself. I really enjoyed the whole book and the addition of dragons! It took me a bit to get into but once I was finally absorbed, it was hard to put down. I generally enjoyed Hua and Jian. Hua was a strong and determined character who wanted to serve her country and fight for her family. Jian just wanted to make everyone proud and get his revenge. Even though each had a little annoying qualities about them, it did not damper my experience. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy retellings, especially Mulan, and fantasy war books.
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