Review: Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne

Posted June 17, 2022 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Feather and Flame by Livia BlackburneFeather and Flame by Livia Blackburne
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 2022-06-14
Length: 307 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022, 2022 New Release Challenge, COYER 2022

Mulan must face a new kind of war . . . this time, as Empress of China. Disney's The Queen's Council series imagines each beloved Princess coming into power as ruler of her land, guided by a magical force that weaves their tales together.

The war is over. Now a renowned hero, Mulan spends her days in her home village, training a militia of female warriors. The peace is a welcome one, and she knows it must be protected.

When Shang arrives with an invitation to the Imperial City, Mulanโ€™s relatively peaceful life is upended once more. The aging emperor decrees that Mulan will be his heir to the throne. Such unimagined power and responsibility terrifies her, but who can say no to the Emperor?

As Mulan ascends into the halls of power, it becomes clear that not everyone is on her side. Her ministers undermine her, and the Huns sense a weakness in the throne. When hints of treachery appear even amongst those she considers friends, Mulan has no idea whom she can trust.

But the discovery of a mysterious, ancient magic helps Mulan uncover her true destiny. With renewed strength and the wisdom of those that came before her, Mulan will own her power, save her country, and prove once again that, crown or helmet, she was always meant to lead. This fierce reimagining of the girl who became a warrior blends fairy-tale lore and real history with a Disney twist.

Feather and Flame is a fierce reimagining of the girl who became a warrior, blending fairy-tale lore and real history with a Disney twist.

I am really enjoying The Queen’s Council! Each book is about a different Disney princess, what happens after their happily ever after and end credits roll, and a continuation of their stories. Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne continues Mulan’s story, picking up several years after she saved the emperor. Action packed and full of adventure, the story grabbed my attention and kept me up late into the night to finish it.

Mulan is enjoying her days at home, training an all female militia and helping the surrounding farms and towns. She is content in her life, yet struggles to find a balance and peace with what she is doing. When the emperor names her as his heir, Mulan is shocked and honestly wants to turn it down. What does she know about running a country? Also in accepting, she’d have to give up the possibility of Shang.

I love Mulan! She is one of my favorites. I love that she constantly pushes the boundaries and does what she needs to for the people she loves. In this case, her love for her country, for China, comes out in full force. I liked seeing her in her role as empress and how she handles the transition. I felt it was very true to life and true to what we know of Disney’s Mulan (I stress the Disney part because there is little of the original story here).

In addition to Mulan, there are some great new characters we are introduced to as well as an old favorite. Liwen is her second in command and her best friend. I love the relationship they have. It is born of loyalty and duty, but also has a kinship attached to it. The women would do anything for each other. And then of course there is Shang. I love him as much here as I did in the cartoon. He is a fantastic supporting character for Mulan. He pushes her to be her best and supports her at every obstacle.

Overall, I really enjoyed Feather and Flame. This story moves at a quick pace. There is a lot of palace intrigue and of course some skirmishes with the Huns. There is even a little romance ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you enjoy fantasy and fairy tales, I highly recommend it.

About Livia Blackburne

Author Livia Blackburne

New York Timesย bestselling author Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.ย  Since then, sheโ€™s switched to full time writing, which also involves getting into peopleโ€™s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner.ย  She is the author of ย Midnight Thiefย (An Indies Introduce New Voices selection)ย Rosemarkedย (A YALSA Teens Top Ten nominee), andย Feather and Flame, as well as the picture bookย I Dream of Popo, which received three starred reviews and was on numerous Best of Year lists.

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