Book Reviews

Review: The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas

When I first heard about The Magnolia Sword, I knew I had to read it. It’s one of those books which sounds so up my alley I set calendar reminders to look for the ARCs. And I was not disappointed.


CHINA, 484 A.D.

A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.

Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling–the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it’s too late.


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

The Magnolia Sword is a story of finding our courage. There’s the thrill of swordplay, the right amount of swoon, and the question of stories. In a world that relies on our stories, how can we know that the version we know is the truth?

I have read a few other Sherry Thomas books, very much enjoying the Sherlock Holmes’ retellings, and now I can add The Magnolia Sword to the list. The characters come alive in this book. Living in the shadow of a duel, Mulan doesn’t want to live in the shadow of a duel, never measuring up, and being entangled in a conflict before our time. Foodies all around will adore this book because it will make your mouth water.

Throughout there are questions of language and heritage. The oppression of politics and warfare that play out in our names and culture. In the fabric of our history. Subterfuge, tricks, and both trust and betrayal grace the pages of The Magnolia Sword. What’s even better is that Thomas writes about the research involved in The Magnolia Sword which just enhances the entire reading experience. The Magnolia Sword isn’t a hard pitch, it speaks for itself and will surpass your expectations.

Find The Magnolia Sword on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


Which is your favorite Disney heroine?

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