Synopsis (from GoodReads)
A dutiful daughter. A prince forced to find a bride. If the shoe fits…
Once upon a time… When the Emperor’s army comes recruiting, Mai signs up, seeing it as the perfect escape from her stepmother and a lifetime of drudgery. Armed with her mother’s armour and a pair of magic shoes, Mai marches off to war…only to find herself sharing a tent with the General’s arrogant nephew, Prince Yi. The best swordsman in the Empire, Prince Yi wants to make war, not love, but the Emperor insists this will be Yi’s last campaign before he must marry. Prince Yi has never met his match…until now. Can one woman win the war and the prince’s heart?
I was happy to see another Asian infused title. And a Cinderella inspired book, with a bit of Mulan thrown in. It sounded awesome. I started this book picturing the beauty of a Chinese, or even Taiwanese TV drama, as I decided that Taiwanese actor Jiro Wang would be perfect for the role of Prince Yi.
There were some typos. Writers, Editors, and Proofreaders are human, so that wasn’t a big deal. (I actually like seeing that the people behind the books are human.) Some of the dialogue was stilted. I was actually disappointed that it was always “dutiful” daughter, or “dutiful” son. Why not use filial? The story though was entertaining. I liked Mai/Mao. I liked Prince Yi.
My issues with the book are with the sexual content. I’m of the notion that a YA novel shouldn’t describe sex. Alluding is one thing, and this book alluded to it early on when the Emperor told Prince Yi he had to get married and produce an heir. (It was a bit crass.) The scene of the women following the soldiers after the battle was ill done. It didn’t make us a party to the act, but it was still ill done. I could have over looked that. But I draw the line with the last chapter. That chapter takes the book from PG13 to R. Thankfully it was short, and with a few lines deleted, the story would have been much improved.
I truly wish that authors wouldn’t feel the need to stoop to putting smut (adult content/erotic scenes) into a book. Allusion is okay. It’s enough.
Should you wish to read this book, be warned. If you want flinch free books, don’t read the last chapter beyond Prince Yi letting Mai’s hair down.