The Night Ends with Fire by K.X. Song: Emotional and Stirring

The Three Kingdoms are at war, but Meilin’s father refuses to answer the imperial draft. Trapped by his opium addiction, he plans to sell Meilin for her dowry. But when Meilin discovers her husband-to-be is another violent, ill-tempered man, she realizes that nothing will change for her unless she takes matters into her own hands.

The very next day, she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in her father’s place.

In the army, Meilin’s relentless hard work brings her recognition, friendship—and a growing closeness with Sky, a prince turned training partner. But has she simply exchanged one prison for another? As her kingdom barrels toward destruction, Meilin begins to have visions of a sea dragon spirit that offers her true power and freedom, but with a deadly price.

With the future of the Three Kingdoms hanging in the balance, Meilin will need to decide whom to trust—Sky, who inspires her loyalty and love; the sea dragon spirit, who has his own murky agenda; or an infuriating enemy prince who makes her question everything she once knew—about her kingdom and about her own heart.

The Night Ends with Fire by K.X. Song takes the idea of Mulan and turns it into an emotional and stirring fantasy that is full of complexity and unexpected turns. Meilin as the protagonist is treated realistically and the story clearly highlights how women were treated in the historical past.

As I read, I loved the way Meilin takes her future into her hands, even when her future is dark or clouded by the dragon spirit, she consistently resolves to try and change her outcome, to save her kingdom even at risk of her own survival and happiness. And she refuses to compromise her freedom. From the very beginning, even when tempted by the dark nature of the dragon, Meilin finds a way to challenge her own emotions and desires even though she wants so badly to be recognized for the strong person she is. The story is full of intrigue and I love the way the magic works in this story inspired by Mulan. Even though the ending is dark, it is a believable and authentic ending for this story of female empowerment.

If you love novels that revolve around triumphant women and are inspired by Mulan, this novel will make you think about Mulan in new and different ways. The story is a sweeping fantasy that is emotional and stirring. While it does have a darker ending, it is believable and authentic and the character of Meilin stays true to herself throughout the novel. 

5 out of 5 Jade pieces

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