Title: Stronger than a Bronze Dragon
Author: Mary Fan
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: June 11, 2019
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.
With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.
This is a story about Anlei, an acrobat warrior who refused to follow the usual path of girls in her time, but is forced to marry a powerful viceroy in order to save her village.
This book has a slow start but I appreciated it because it provided the backstory which made me understand Anlei more. She’s still grieving the loss of her father and she wants to seek revenge. I admire Anlei’s character because of the love and dedication that she has for her family and her village. She’ll do anything, even marry the viceroy, and give the enchanted River Pearl, in exchange for protection for her people from the attacks of the Ligui.
The River Pearl was stolen by a young thief, Tai. A mysterious boy, who desperately needs it to save his people. He is such a lovable character, and I loved the playful/witty banter between him and Anlei. Their chemistry made me enjoy reading this book more.
The only thing that I felt lacking was a bit of a backstory for the villain as I would’ve wanted to understand his motivations/reasons. But with its plot twists, the combination of steampunk and magic, the Asian representation, and the world-building, you surely won’t regret reading this!
“Self-control today is a gift for tomorrow. Be kind to your future self.”
“Many choices come down to love or hate. Choose love, every time.”
“Nothing can truly be fixed. Once broken, nothing will ever be as it was.”
“And though you can’t repair something entirely, you can mold it into something better.”
Soundtrack: Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy
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About the Author:
Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now, she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil.
Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.