Hello again! As promised, here is my review of Mary Fan’s Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon. And our tour is almost at an end! Check out the graphic at the very bottom of this post to see what other posts you may have missed earlier this month. And if you didn’t check my interview about inspiration with Mary Fan and Deborah Schaumberg, click here to go read it! Also, also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already (link in my previous post)!
First off, I loved the concept and execution of an Asian-themed steampunk adventure. There was just the right mix of science and magic throughout this story, and I love when authors take the steampunk out of Victorian England to play with all the gears and gadgets. Mary Fan truly created a world that felt real and even possible.
Having only a basic understanding of ancient Asian culture and lifestyles through various anime and college classes, I felt that it wasn’t necessary to have a great deal of knowledge to enjoy this story. Sometimes I do feel a bit out of my league when it comes to historically or folklorically influenced settings because it feels like I’m only interacting with the surface level of the author’s world building (a fault entirely attributed to my perspective and not the author’s concern at all!). Happily, I didn’t get that feeling here. Mary Fan does a great job presenting her world and characters in such a way that I was able to interact with the various levels of storytelling. Masterful!
I was very happy to have a reason to bump this book up my overly long TBR in order to review it as part of the blog tour. I really really liked this one and hope to make all my friends read it now 🙂
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.