BLOG TOUR: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny by Justin Hill

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Firstly, I'd like to start by thanking Little Brown & Abacus books for approaching me to be involved in this blog tour, and for sending me a copy for review. *In no way does this affect my opinion / review of this book*



When master warrior Shulien learns of the death of her family's patron, she abandons retirement and returns to the capital to protect Green Legend, a sword renowned for its historic triumphs. But much has happened in the years she has been in seclusion, and she finds herself beset on all sides with hidden enemies, and the tragic past which she had hoped to forget returns to haunts her.
In her hour of need arrives a beautiful young warrior, Snow Vase, who is seeking a master. But the new apprentice is not all that she seems. When she falls in love with the bandit Wei-fang, a secret is revealed that makes all of them question who is friend and who is foe. In an age of thwarted love, can these two youths find happiness? 
Based on the original novels by Wang Du Lu, this is a beautiful love story set in the fading years of nineteenth century Imperial China.


When Little Brown first approached me to be involved with this book I was very close to declining. At first glance, 'Oriental fantasy' just didn't really seem to be my cup of tea.

HOWEVER. Immediately I was immersed by the synopsis- female Martial Artists? Tragic Love? Imperial china? I'd never read anything like it before.

I knew I had to give it a shot.
And how pleased am I that I did.

I was blown away by the depth that hill incorporates into each of his multiple protagonists. Each character has their own backstory and distinct voice, and the dynamics between them are electric! 

The characters become acquainted through an intricate intertwining of stories that creates a wonderful transition to the main narrative. It's natural and it flows. Paths cross in satisfying resolutions, but also in ways you cannot second guess.

I couldn't help but feel a huge connection to all of the characters. I had no favourite- they all felt fresh and interesting, with their own aspirations and goals, the detail each was allowed really makes the story accessible and multidimensional, they really provoked emotions and made me question and think- something I really value in a book.

The storytelling as a whole felt really smooth- there were no forced details or too many events squished into one spot. It flows seamlessly and as the story unwinds you find yourself sinking into it and letting it wrap itself around you.

As for the fighting...The action is relentless! 
The description of the Wushu Warriors training and battling was so raw and smooth, it felt like a graceful and elegant (yet very deadly..) dance, and I was enthralled each time I came across a fight scene.

This is a book about honour, sacrifice, tradition, family and self discovery, with some really poignant messages.

But not only does it explore what makes a good warrior- it questions what it takes to be a good person.

Hill effortlessly transports us into a rich and captivating World, developing such an impressive setting that I felt as if i experienced an entirely new culture first hand. Vivid description mixed with brutal action scenes makes for a totally gripping read. 

You will not want to look away.
You will not want to blink, until you have devoured this book.

Look out for the Netflix original adaptation of this book, coming August 2016.
Keep your eyes on @abacusbooks on twitter to read the next instalments of the blog tour, from some really awesome bloggers.

I loved it.
Maybe you will too.

4/5 stars

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