Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan. Good but …something is missing to be great. #Review

Synopsis

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.

Mini audiobook review

 

3,5 stars

 

OK guys I don’t really know why I give this one only a 3,5 stars instead of a 4 or 4,5 .

I just had a hard time getting into the story despite Emily Woo Zeller’s stellar narration.

I think my main problem was Anlei as she was rash, reckless, acting before thinking and she wanted glory. If all heroes in fantasy usually end up with some glory the fact that Anlei was so focused on becoming a legend seemed childish to me.

Yet I am aware that others will find it very honest and refreshing.

To me it simply was annoying.

Her quest for greatness and always running into danger gave us action scenes upon action scenes without really being prepared. It felt a bit “pushed” on the reader.

Does that mean that Anlei had no redeeming qualities? Of course not! She was compassionate, courageous and caring. She also was a great warrior.

I also loved that she wanted more for her. Even if she was a young woman she aspired to become a warrior, all traits I love in a female character.

If I needed time to warm up to Anlei I fell for Tai immediately.

 

Tai is a morally grey character as he is a thief but he is oh so charming!

I loved how cocky he was and he was a master at sarcasm and irony. He had a “devil may care” attitude and laughed in the face of danger. He had swagger and boy was it attractive!

I also loved how loyal he was, to a fault maybe.

 

When these two meet, Anlei is chasing him as he stole something and they will battle right away. Every encounter was explosive until they became forced allies.

Both will embark on a quest that will lead them till the mouth of Hell and beyond.

 

There is action, battles, betrayals and a fantastic steampunk worldbuilding.

 

So aside my issues with Anlei what was missing? I can’t pinpoint my problem just that sometimes it felt like stop and go. It lacked some smoothness maybe?

It also did not help that I had guessed some of the big secrets when I usually am clueless about these things! I wanted to shake Anlei and tell her to just open her eyes!!!

 

Now the book really kicked in the last 20 percent due to Anlei’s huge character’s growth and the deeper bond between Anlei’s and Tai. I can honestly say that in these last 20 percent I did not want to stop listening to the book and felt totally invested!

 

But I have never written a book so I don’t want to make you dismiss this book as it gets many excellent reviews and has many qualities. I guess it just did not totally “clicked” with me.

 

Have you read that book? What did you think of it?

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Sophie

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10 Replies to “Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan. Good but …something is missing to be great. #Review”

  1. Ahh it does happen often when we don’t know why we feel like it was a certain number of stars but know that it has to be THAT many stars! Sorry to hear about that Anlei character though. Great review, Sophie! 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Lashaan!!!

  2. At least the narration was enjoyable. Sorry about the annoying character. That can take away from some fun reading.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes Laura and I was so sad because everyone seemed to love this book!

  3. I am glad that you enjoyed the narration. I have a hard time with characters who have annoying behaviours as well. Hopefully your next read will be more enjoyable. 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Olivia!

  4. Sounds as though I’d like Tai 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh yes Jacquie I think he’d be a worthy hero by your books too!

  5. Now you know how I felt with THE POPPY WAR, it was the same feelings for me. *shrugs*

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha revenge is a dish best served cold Alexandra? Kidding! But yes you are right but as you’ve said …shrugs because that is just a book, not the end of the world.

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