Book Reviews

Review: Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is a story about our love for our community, our family, and those we love. It’s a story about revenge, love, desire, and sacrifice.


When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is a story that will leave you shouting from the rooftops. It’s a story with a heroine you will fall in love with. She has a noble heart and a passionate sense of determination, even when it lands her squarely in trouble. There’s a fire in her soul to do what’s right, even when it’s not acceptable. While, her journey imparts the importance of support, of trust and honesty, and of doing what’s right especially when it’s hard.

Anlei & Characters

Anlei is set on a path of destiny, but it’s not one she chose. It’s one decided for the good of the village. And while it’s against every fiber of her being, And it chips away everything of Anlei – her agency, her desire to fight for what, and who, she loves, and her future. She has a noble heart which yearns for adventure, boxed in by society’s expectations, by what people demand of her. 

But in the midst of this, she finds a friend, someone who will call her on her mistakes and, most importantly, tease her. Their banter will bring smiles to your face. It’s about someone who knows exactly how to get between your little cracks, exposing the softer parts of ourselves. It’s exactly the person who will help us finish our stories. It derives from our desire to be accepted for who we are – their universal need for acceptance, for someone to acknowledge who they are, not who they should be, or who they are expected ot be.


Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon will deliver twists and turns that will make you grasp. It’s a story about our desire for power. About sacrifice, agency, and becoming the heroes that lie beneath our skin. We have to confront hard truths about the people around us, the people we crave acceptance from, and whom we love. It’s a thirst for glory which demands sacrifices from us.

Find Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite steampunk story? I have to highly recommend The Alchemists of Loom.

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