Saturday, April 20, 2019

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

Song of the Crimson Flower
Julie C. Dao
Publication Date: November 5th 2019
Publisher: Philomel
Find This Book: Song of the Crimson Flower
Rating: 4/5

I was given an ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

As you can see, the cover is STUNNING and I was so excited to get an ARC of this after how much I enjoyed Dao's Evil Queen retelling in Forest of a Thousand Lanturns. Song of the Crimson Flower takes place in the same universe, which means an awesome myth and magic system that I'm already familiar with frames the story. The best part? Stone-hearted girls with swords have taken over the YA industry recently and this book is NOT one of them! The main character is Bao, the physician's assistant, and Lan, a noble woman with basically zero skills but an amazing sense of right and wrong. My soft children strike out on a quest to break a curse and get more than they thought they signed up for. 

If you're looking for a story with kind, relatable characters, THIS is the book for you. If you're looking for a cool magic system with witches and curses and an awful lot of boating and horseback riding, THIS book is for you! Don't get me wrong, this book will have action and tension in it!! But the characters are gentle and emotional and it makes alllllll the difference. I found Bao and Lan so easy to connect to and this change up from the current genre trope made for very compelling and vulnerable scenes.

The only reason this book isn't getting 5 stars is because there was no doubt in my mind how the book was going to end and nothing in the last 40 pages or so provoked the thoughts or emotions I expected to be feeling after how amazing the lead up was. It's a sweet story, but I thought I'd be on my toes a bit for the finale and I wasn't.

That being said, I would highly recommend this book about heartwarming characters who are passionate about helping others, politics (we do have a war about to break out after all), and of course love.

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