"Once Upon a Time" is TimelessStoryline - Mulan has only ever wanted to please the father she never knew, the mother so doesn't even know the name of, and to be free to fallow her heart. When one of her wishes come true and finally meets her father, her world forever changes. But just when she is finally getting the chance to know him, the Huns have returned to China and her crippled father is called by the Emperor to fight. Mulan cannot risk loosing him, her only family, again, so she does the only thing she can do to save him. She goes in his place.
Author - Cameron Dokey
Publisher - Simon Pulse
Age Group - 14 and up
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Mulan and her friends want to be themselves and do what they wish, but are willing to lay that aside to honor their families. Lies to get into the army. Loves her family and friends and wants to help them and take care of them. Prays once or twice to the gods of China.
Personal Opinion - Wild Orchid, a retelling of the Ballad of Mulan, had me hooked every page and couldn't wait to see what happened next. There was a poetic feel to the writing of the story, especially when Mulan was giving some wisdom she learned. It was a light read but the traditions of China were brought in nicely where I got to see the what was appropriate for girls and boys of the time and Mulan's struggle with what she wanted and honoring her family with doing what was expected of her. It did take a while for the story to get to Mulan pretending to be a boy in the emperor's army but the events leading up to it brought me into her struggles of her life. The bad thing about how long it took her going into the army was that the battle and romance happened a little fast. Some author's spend a long time in battle scenes which I don't always like, but this one felt too short because the emphasis of the story of Mulan is that she pretended to be a boy and saved China. Also, she fell in love quickly with her guy but I only got a short time to get to know him. Never read the Ballad of Mulan so I don't know if this is accurate to the original poem or not. The only other thing I had wanted was a pronunciation guide for the Chinese names because I'm sure I slaughtered many of them. But the romance, intrigue, characters, and emotions of the story were wonderful and I will be reading more books by this author.
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Special Notes - The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey Review
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