stronger than a bronze dragon – mary fan | review

Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan
Published June 11th 2019 by Page Street Kids
Genre: fantasy, young adult, science fiction, steampunk, dragons, ownvoices, mental illness

rating: ★★★★★


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.

・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚.・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚.・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚.

i absolutely fell in love with the setting. it’s a mixture of modern, traditional, technology, magic, and ghosts AND STEAMPUNK DRAGONS. the book had it all. just EVERYTHING! also, it’s an all chinese cast with the main character as dyslexic.

anlei is selfless and the most courageous person ever. she’s willing to marry a power-hungry/greedy/perverse viceroy who’s much older than her so that she can save her town. she’s always killing the lugui to protect the people in her town. at the same time, anlei has a specific motive and that is to kill the shadow warrior who murdered her father. despite her selflessness and her compassion, anlei has a vicious side which i loved reading about. tai’s a mystery. even though he’s telling anlei things about himself regarding the mission, he’s hiding things about his personal information. tai needs the river pearl to save his own people so both anlei and tai are working together. the two of them embark on an adventure to save both of their people.

the fighting scenes were vivid and it reminded me of all the kungfu/wuxia scenes on tv which i watched when i was younger. actually, the book should be adapted into a chinese classic tv show. my eyes would be glued to the screen while i absorbed the fighting, the magic, the relationships and the politics. i could find all the elements of a typical chinese drama in stronger than a bronze dragon with steampunk components.

Nothing can truly be fixed. Once broken, nothing will ever be as it was.

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