Feather and Flame

Disney-Hyperion. (Queen’s Council: Bk. 2). Nov. 2021. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368048224.
Gr 8 Up–The Emperor of China needs an heir, and there is only one person he trusts. In the years since saving China, Fa Mulan has lived a quiet life in the country training an all-female militia and hunting down bandits who threaten her village. Shang, now a general in the Imperial Army, comes to bring her back to the Imperial City, where the Emperor has asked to see her. Shortly after her ascension to Crown Princess is announced, the Emperor dies, leaving Mulan half-educated and entirely overwhelmed, surrounded by ministers who wish to take her throne for themselves. As Mulan fights a war she is entirely unprepared for, Shang is a bulwark against the political schemes hatched at court as the Huns reenter the political stage. Shang’s steadfast support and straightforward manner ground their Disney movie romance in realism and angst, as the two struggle to balance their duties to China with their own desires. Blackburne packs Mulan’s happily ever after with strong female friendships, a sweet romance, and high stakes, making this an easy hand-sell to fans of the animated movie. Filial piety and ancestor veneration are woven throughout the story, their cultural significance flawlessly introduced to Western readers. Blackburne paints lush settings with historical details, bringing ancient China to life. Characters are Chinese, with some exceptions.
VERDICT Mulan must fight a different kind of war to save China, and she is more than up to the task. Recommended for general purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing