Seventeen years have passed since Shulien last set foot in the world at large. Much has changed since then, but even more has stayed irrevocably the same. The lust for power as it battles against honor is an eternal war about to reignite with a group of new, young warriors hungry for fame and honor.
Shulien is a holdover from the first novel and she was by far my favorite. Her way of looking at things was different than anything I’d ever encountered before. She placed herself into exile only to be dragged out into the thick of it, just like any heroine would be in a time of crisis. She handles her forced return to society well, even if she can be a touch cranky at times.
The would-be pairing of Snow Vase and Wei-Fang is an old story, one that we’re all familiar with. They’re on different sides of the battle and yet, are drawn to one another. At first, Snow Vase really got on my nerves. But as I came to understand all she was putting at risk and the mother she was trying to make proud, it all seemed to make sense. Also, once she meets Shulien and later, Wei-Fang, she becomes a more well-rounded character. Wei-Fang is a typical boy. All he wants is to be a great warrior and almost immediately gets himself into trouble because of it. They make one of the best matched couples I’ve seen lately.
Having never read or seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this novel was a new experience for me. Although not my usual reading fare, I found the characters interesting and the story full of action and adventure. I always tend to enjoy novels that visit the next generation, bring the past into the new chapter. The sword play was so well written that even someone unknowledgeable in such arts was easily able to imagine the flow of metal and bodies as the opponents fought. An intriguing and fascinating look at life in a long ago world.
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