Like many people out there, I am a massive Disney fan. I adore many of the films with my entire being, and Mulan is one of them. The idea of this series is one that really appeals to me. Getting to see some of the Disney ‘princesses’ as Queens? Hell yeah! The first book – Rebel Rose – was a Beauty and the Beast sequel, and it just did not work for me. That did lead to me being a little concerned about how this book would read. Turns out I had no reason to be. I’d read Livia Blackburne before, so I knew this would at least be well-written, but it was perfect.
Set several years after the end of the first film, this book introduces us to a Mulan who has been training and leading a female militia in her home village. One day Shang stops by to ask her to come with him back to the Imperial City as the Emperor wishes to see her. As the series is the Queen’s Council, you can guess what the Emperor wishes from her and some of the struggles that are to come.
I’ll start by talking about the thing I didn’t like, and that was the lack of Mushu and her soldier friends. Obviously, time has passed, and this book goes down a different route, while still using her ancestors, but it would have been nice for Mushu to at least have a mention. He’s such a fun character in the film, and it would have been wonderful to see him again, as well as the soldiers.
Mulan has obviously made new friends. Within her militia, you have Liwen, who is her second-in-command. She trained as a nun and is now travelling China kicking ass. She was such a good friend, and I appreciated her as both a character and her relationship with Mulan. There was also a servant who I would have liked to see more of and a few interesting characters that popped up along the way.
One thing I wanted for this book was a romance between Mulan and Shang. There’s not enough in the film, and though it was far from the focus, you definitely get some good stuff. Both Mulan and Shang are a little awkward. They don’t know how to handle romance. But their moments were sweet, and they felt like the characters we know and love. It was wonderful, and I was grinning so much.
This book was filled with both humour and action. I read half of it one day and easily finished it the next. I had so much fun reading this, and I am so excited to get myself a physical copy to reread. My Mulan loving sister should also love this one, and ahhh I recommend it to you all.
Title: Feather and Flame
Author: Livia Blackburne
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: 8/2/22 (May have been pushed back further again)