Thursday, September 4, 2014

ARC Review: The Hidden Blade

Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

Publisher: NLA Digital LLC, 2014
260 pages, first edition
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis (from Netgalley):

In the waning days of the last dynasty, in a quiet, beautiful corner of imperial. Perking, a young girl's bissful ignorance is shattered when she learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan. What future is there for such a girl? But a mysterious figure steps forward and offers to instruct her in the highest forms of martial arts -- a path to a life of strength and independence.

Half a world away in England, a young boy's idyllic summer on the Sussex downs implodes with the firing of a single bullet. Torn from his family, he becomes the hostage of a urbanely sadistic uncle. He dreams of escaping to find his beloved friend -- but the friends is in China, ten thousand miles away.

The girl trains to be deadly. The boy flees across continents. They do not know it yet, but their lives are already inextricably bound together, and will collide one fateful night when they least expect it.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets Downton Abbey, this remarkable tale of friendship, danger, and coming of age will stay with you longer after you have finished the last page.

A prequel to My Beautiful Enemy, The Hidden Blade is part of The Heart of Blade Duology.

My Review:

 I was absolutely gobsmacked to discover that this is actually almost novel length at 272 pages, much longer than most novellas. This book doesn't really tell the story of the main character's parents, but really its the backstory of the main characters themselves. In fact, this prequel reads more like Part 1 of a fantastic romance novels must be 372 pages! So instead of reading a tiny little novella length romance of some other connected main characters, I got a very long lead-in to Sherry Thomas's novel that I will receive tomorrow -- thank goodness.

The characters Ying-ying and Leighton experience great heartache and adversity -- Leighton in England, Ying-ying secretly trains as a martial artist, while Leighton crosses wits with a cruel uncle set on controlling him.

I love to be able to grow attached to characters over a series-length of novels. We get that often for urban fantasies or the rare sort of series such as The Outlander, but the publishing community has decided we don't need that type of thing anymore. So Im really happy to experience this rare gift Sherry Thomas has given us. Im seriously anxiously awaiting My Beautiful Enemy.

My Rating:

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