Hullo, bookdragons. Apparently I haven’t abandoned my blog completely so it’s time for a celebration!
I’m back with a new blog tour post introducing one of my most-anticipated reads of the year: STRONGER THAN A BRONZE DRAGON by Mary Fan! Scroll down to read my thoughts about the book.
Thank you so much to Rafael @ theroyalpolarbearreads for giving me a chance to be part of this tour. Check out the blog tour schedule below to read more posts from bookdragons 👇
When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.
Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.
With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.
WHAT I ENJOYED ABOUT THIS BOOK:
• It’s an Asian-inspired steampunk fantasy
I haven’t read many steampunk books but I really enjoyed this reading experience. Inspired from Qin-dynasty China, the world written by Mary Fan sits in between the modern and traditional era where mechanical dragons and arrange marriages coexist. The Asian-inspired setting really made my heart take flight because THIS IS THE CONTENT I SIGNED UP FOR. Stronger than a Bronze Dragon pays homage to Asian culture and I loved it so much for that.
• This book is full of angst
Yes we’ve got snarky little cinnamon rolls in this book. Anlei, the protagonist, is a stabby village girl intent on seeking adventure. She wants to make name for herself as a warrioress who slays monsters and protects her village from all evil. I loved how she didn’t shy away from the thrill of the fight. Her desire to claim glory for herself may not be likeable for some but I admire her for it. I felt really empowered while reading about Anlei. Somehow, I wanted to break off a table leg and wield it as a sword to fight mosquitoes and flying cockroaches. Well, they’re a far cry from all the demons Anlei has vanquished but they’re the only things my boring life can offer for now.
(Just a little PSA: killing mosquitoes is challenging. You have to give me a little credit for having the courage to defeat those little bloodsuckers.)
Then there’s Tai. He’s the male protagonist with a mysterious past. I adored reading his snarky lines and I did love his banter with Anlei. However, I didn’t really ship them as a couple. They have great chemistry as friends but I couldn’t reconcile the image of them being together. Maybe it’s just me though. I’m quite picky with my ships nowadays.
The first time I read this book’s title, I immediately clicked that “WANT TO READ” button on goodreads. That button is a blackhole, y’all. I don’t recommend being friends with it.
Anyway, I was interested with Stronger than a Bronze Dragon at first sight because when I see a word that starts with letter D and ands with an N on a book title, that baby goes into the TBR pile immediately. Well, dragons don’t play a pivotal role in this book but I still appreciated their presence (there are mechanical dragons and sort-of-ethereal dragons here y’all). Don’t mind me. I’m trash for the smallest dragon appearances in all forms of media.
• All hail Mary Fan for the descriptive writing
This book has very rich descriptions which further cemented its plot. I’m a very sensory reader and the descriptions really helped me in imagining the settings and the scenes. I also applaud Mary Fan for incorporating mythology in this book. Aside from dragons, there are ghosts, moon spirits, monsters and demons which added more dimension to the story.
I had some issues with the pacing and felt a bit disconnected to the characters when I reached the end but this one is still a fun standalone to read. Despite the predictablity of the plot twists, I still appreciated the over-all angsty feel of the book. I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ALL THE READERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO FEEL EMPOWERED. Let’s travel to Hell and back with these fierce protagonists!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR