Zhànshì by Anna Edwards
Collection: Sinister Fairytales Collection
Release: May 26, 2020
Genre: Dark Fairy Tale Retelling
Whilst I’m not quite convinced that this was quite a 4 star read but it was much closer to that than 3 stars, so 4 it is.
Zhànshì is a well paced, entertaining, has a great heroine, a sexy hero and held my interest throughout. The story is set in modern times, though this is only obvious when modern technology is mentioned. Most of the time it had either an historical or a fantasy feel to it, but that made it more interesting not less.
Whilst this didn’t totally absorb me it did retain my attention and, unlike a couple of other recent reads, I never considered DNF’ing it. I appreciated how skillfully the author wove a tale that really did feel like a darker retelling of the Disney fairytale (as opposed to the original Chinese legend). Lia has always felt like an outsider, uninterested in becoming a warriors wife but rather wanting to be the warrior herself. I liked both her and Jaxon, they both held honour, faith and family in high regard and were prepared to die for their principles.
We all have our own interpretation of dark, so for me it was more that this had dark themes. However it does need a trigger warning as it contains one more detailed scene, and another implied, of sexual assault on the heroine. There are also incidences of physical assault too. However I find my darkness in the psychological effects and emotional impact on main characters but Lia was too strong, too much of a warrior to allow the enemy to break her, so for me it made the dark aspects easier to read. It fitted well with Lia’s strength of character so I had no qualms about her response to Wang’s treatment.
I would have liked just a bit more drama, a touch more angst and not quite such a quick resolution (I won’t say easy because it wasn’t). Not so much plot holes as glossing over the difficult parts. However I still enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting, it’s a decent story.
Lia has known she was different since the age of five when her father taught her the skills of her ancestors. His stories of heroic exploits have fueled her fantasies for years. Little did she know that her expertise would be called upon when two cities, two triads, go to war. Will it be a step too far to think she can hide who she really is?
Jaxon has known his career path since he was a little boy when his father promised his only son to the leader of the Yu Shi triad. Jaxon doesn’t mind—it allows him to center his chaotic thoughts and fight his opponents to the death. But when he’s partnered with a mysterious new recruit, he begins to question everything he knows. What is the young boy hiding from him?
Zhanzhi is a modern day retelling of the tale of Mulan for the Sinister Fairytales Collection. Warrior Lia must find her inner strength to defeat a deadly enemy, who’s been left bitter by his quest for absolute power, while at the same time falling in love when she least expects it. Nothing will be as it seems in this dark triad world where a moment’s hesitation can be your downfall.
All I am a British author, from the depths of the rural countryside near London. In a previous life, I was an accountant from the age of twenty-one. I still do that on occasions, but most of my life is now spent intermingling writing while looking after my husband, two children and two cats (probably in the inverse order to the one listed!). When I have some spare time, I can also be found writing poetry, baking cakes (and eating them), or behind a camera snapping like a mad paparazzi.
I’m an avid reader who turned to writing to combat my depression and anxiety. I have a love of travelling and like to bring this to my stories to give them the air of reality.
I like my heroes hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, my heroines demure but with spunk, and my books full of dramatic suspense.
Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/AnnaEdwardsWriter
Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/TheAuthorAnnaEdwards
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