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.
With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.
This book is so hard to get into but once you were able to pass the ten percent mark of the novel and you were able to adjust to the settings that Mary Fan has provided in her story, you are on your own journey. Let the diversity and strong characters flow through your eyes.
Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan features our strong-willed protagonist, Anlei. Her origin has been attacked by the evil spirits and the emperor refuses to help them despite asking multiple times for help. But what makes this novel enticing is because when a Viceroy saved their village with the help of advanced mechanical dragons that changes the game and the technology of their country. Where magic and science collide.
All stories have their own beginning and their own endings but the story of their village doesn’t end there. Meaning? Anlei’s story is just starting. And not all saviors are heroes and not all of them are kind enough. The village would benefit for continuous assured protection but every protection comes with a price. The Viceroy demands a village girl to be his pride, furthermore, Anlei’s village has the Magic River Pearl which the Viceroy has huge interest with.
And what will happen if the Pearl is stolen? From the magical twist of events to fruitful adventure, we were able to see how Anlei’s character blooms over time. We see a courageous female protagonist that will embark on a journey to inspire young readers with her ambitions, complex personality that made her outstanding and being selfless for sacrificing herself for the good of a village.
Aside from the fact that she is an Asian protagonist, I really like the developments that Mary Fan was able to put in her book. She was able to shake her readers and entice us with some delights. Spur of the moments that we wouldn’t expect. Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is a refreshing read with a mix of magic, steampunk, science fiction, and dragons! How could we say no to dragons?
Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan is one of those books that you can see how representation and diversity are important and at the same time, you can see how those sensitive issues are needed to be in a book. We don’t need to disguise them. We don’t need to remove them from our craft. At times, it may be problematic at some point but the thing is, they are happening in our reality. It could be offending at some but it is enlightening to those who are not educated. And some of those stories are needed to be told. We are here to be educated. And this is what Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon offers to everyone, to be able to see some perspectives that we are not comfortable knowing about.
MY RATINGS: 3.5 STARS.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now, she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil.
Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.