Today I’m dropping by with another book toward my retellings challenge.
A combat warrior will risk everything to awaken the dragons and save her kingdom in Jillian Boehme’s epic YA Fantasy debut, Stormrise, inspired by Twelfth Night and perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce.
If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.
Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.
As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.
I love a bit of fantasy and the fact that this was inspired by The Twelfth Night and involves dragons meant that I was sold as soon as I read the blurb.
Not that I am all that versed on Shakespeare but I love when stories take their inspiration from another book, especially when they do something very different with it. I have to say that it was also quite reminiscent of Mulan in certain ways, but that only added to my enjoyment.
I struggled to put this book down, it really is the kind of story that just captivates you from the start and can keep your attention the whole way through. I liked that there was a mix of adventure and quest but also an exploration of what it means to be female, what it means to deceive and to trust. It was nice to get these different elements throughout the story, which gave me time to digest everything that was happening and not just always having lots of action.
Rain is an amazing character, I loved what she did for her brother and that she managed to prove time after time that she was strong enough to continue, even if she was questioning herself. Her relationship with Forest was also lovely, that they become friends and then have to put that friendship to the test when he finds out her truth really had me on the edge, hoping that he would prove himself to be the character that I thought he was. I also loved the dragons in this, the mythology behind them and that even they were not what I would have pictured right away, it made it a lot more interesting.
I did notice that certain things were left a bit vague, like character descriptions and even about the place the story is set. I feel like this has probably been a conscious choice to make the book more accessible, and I didn’t mind in respect to the characters but I have to say it did take me a bit longer to settle into the world than I would have liked because I was trying to decide if this was an entirely made-up place whether it was real or whether it was inspired by a particular culture. I would have liked a little more grounding in that for me to feel totally immersed, but it was only on occasion that I would start to wonder about it so I wouldn’t say it detracted from my reading experience in any way.
This is a brilliant story and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.
If you live in the US or Canada and you like the sound of the book then you’ll want to enter this giveaway to be in with the chance of winning…
There is also a little pre-order giveaway that you can enter if you click here.
JILLIAN BOEHME is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.