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The Compulsive Reader: Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey


Mulan is the daughter of Hua Wei, the greatest general of all of China. But unlike most honorable daughters with a good name, Mulan isn't very gentle or ladylike. Instead, she lives as simply as a servant in the country, where she hates learning embroidery and instead has convinced her neighbor and friend Li Po to teach her all he knows about fighting and reading and learning. But when the Huns threaten to strike China once more and the emperor demands that each family send one male, Mulan is determined to take her aging and injured father's place. But war isn't always a grand adventure, and having to disguise herself isn't always easy...

Wild Orchid is certainly one of the more enjoyable books in the Once Upon a Time series. Cameron Dokey's magical and lyrical storytelling never gets old, and she has taken an unusual and lesser-known tale and made it enthralling and entertaining. Mulan is a character that readers can respect and sympathize with: bold and strong, but sometimes she’s a confused girl who yearns for parental love. The novel moves quickly, making it an easy and enjoyable read, though it would have been interesting to have a lengthier story that delved deeper into the relationships between the characters, had a more developed romance, and more involved scenes when it came to Mulan’s time in the army. Nonetheless, this is an uncomplicated read that is about love and loyalty and friendship that is easy and enjoyable to read, and a nice departure from the norm.

Cover Comments: At first glance, this cover is really great; I like the colors and the blossoms in the background, and the clothes and the bow and arrow fit. But the girl in the photo looks more Caucasian than Chinese, which is a shame. I will admit, it irks me when the models on covers are so different from the characters they are supposed to represent, but I'm sure this cover will attract readers nonetheless.

6 comments:

Thao said...

To be honest this is not my type of book but man its cover is soooooooo beautiful.

Diana Dang said...

I love Mulan but to see the Caucasian model makes me a little mad. I hope that if they plan to do a second cover one day, the model will be oriental.

AnimeGirl said...

Thanks! I like some of the Once Upon a Time series and Ms Dokey's are almost always good.

I think you made up my mind about this one :D

AG

Mishel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mishel said...

I've been meaning to start some of these books in the Once Upon a Time series. I like the sound of this one.

celi.a said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I agree with all of your comments + the cover critique. I read the version w/the Kinuko Craft artwork. I think my next favorites in the series are Water Song and Snow. I've got Diamond Secret waiting in my TBR pile... :) Great review!