ARC Review: Feather and Flame (The Queen’s Council #2) by Livia Blackburne

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Synopsis:

she brought honor on the battlefield. Now comes a new kind of war…

The war is over. Now a renowned hero, Mulan spends her days in her home village, training a militia of female warriors. The peace is a welcome one, and she knows it must be protected.

When Shang arrives with an invitation to the Imperial City, Mulan’s relatively peaceful life is upended once more. The aging emperor decrees that Mulan will be his heir to the throne. Such unimagined power and responsibility terrifies her, but who can say no to the Emperor?

As Mulan ascends into the halls of power, it becomes clear that not everyone is on her side. Her ministers undermine her, and the Huns sense a weakness in the throne. When hints of treachery appear even amongst those she considers friends, Mulan has no idea whom she can trust.

But the Queen’s Council helps Mulan uncover her true destiny. With renewed strength and the wisdom of those that came before her, Mulan will own her power, save her country, and prove once again that, crown or helmet, she was always meant to lead. This fierce reimagining of the girl who became a warrior blends fairy-tale lore and real history with a Disney twist.

My Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mulan is my favorite Disney princess, so I was a little apprehensive about this retelling, but I ended up really enjoying it. Blackburne captures Mulan’s character and spirit perfectly and brings in old friends and new (as well as new enemies) as a supporting cast.

Mulan’s troubles felt very real and believable, and I was transported to ancient China throughout. I felt for Mulan and grieved for her friends who fell and rejoiced with her triumphs.

There were a few places I felt like the writing could have used some improvement, and where things got a little shaky, and it did strike me as a tad Disneyfied and perhaps a bit more PG than it could have been, but overall it was a wonderful adventure.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for providing an e-arc for review.

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