Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott. This is an adult high fantasy.
To celebrate Chinese New Year the tour is running Jan. 27th-31st with mostly reviews and only a few interviews and spotlight posts. Be sure to check out the tour page with additional info and list of tour stops.
The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott
Yi, a retired soldier, has lost everything he loves—his wife, his daughter, and his home. He seeks refuge from his heartache by plunging into a secret mission for the World Emperor. The assignment takes him to the doorstep of a brothel, where he witnesses the madam beating a young girl. Drawn by the child’s striking resemblance to his lost daughter, Yi rushes to her defense and negotiates for her purchase—after all, how hard can it be to care for one little girl? But between the child’s inquisitive nature and the dangerous secret she carries, he gets more than he bargained for.
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I received the audiobook version of the book. I will tell you my opinion of the story and then of the narration of the story.
I enjoyed this book. It was different than I had thought it would be going into it. I didn't expect it to capture my attention and fire up my imagination the way it did. The author created a world that it at once similar yet different from our own. There are magical creatures and people that can cast magic. There are brothels, bars, towns, and families that are just working day to day, living life. I love when you can picture a world to be basically like the one we live in (albeit a different century perhaps) and add in magic. I could visualize this story so easily and that really added to my enjoyment of the book.
The best part of this book is Tulip. She is an inquisitive child that is taken from her home and her mother by Yi to protect her. He then sets out to raise her in a nontraditional way. He wants her to know how to fight to protect herself. He makes sure she knows that if someone is worth her, then he will accept that she can whoop butt. I love that! The man, Yi, turned out so different than I expected him to. He is very gentle with Tulip while still being a wonderful warrior. He, and his kylin Fire Foot, get totally wrapped around Tulips little finger. It was sweet how they cared for her so immediately and completely.
There is plenty of action and pulse pounding moments in the book, along with a bit of sadness. The book offers battle and magic, intrigue and betrayal, love and kindness, and so much more. I would love to read, or listen, to more by this author.
As for the narration of the audiobook, I wasn't totally thrilled. I felt that the person reading it used weird inflections occasionally and didn't emote well. It drew me out of the story occasionally, as I wondered why he sounded like he did at that time. I have never recorded myself reading anything, so I don't know if I ever do the same thing. I have, however, read many, many books to my kids, so know a little something about speaking the parts with appropriate emotions. Without the right emotion and inflection, then sometimes the story won't hold their attention, or the line sounds like it means something totally different than it is supposed to. Sorry for running on with the criticism. I wasn't sure what to say about an audiobook, but this is what stuck out to me. It wasn't horrible, don't misunderstand me! It was just odd occasionally for me.
I do enjoy audiobooks. I tend to multitask and audiobooks help me be able to get my book fix while doing other tasks. I love to sit and knit while listening to a great story. I have a rotating list of audiobooks that I listen to and this one is going into the list. I will be listening to this again someday soon.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys action, magic, and precocious children that bring laughter to a story. This story has some adult subjects so I recommend for mature teens and adults.
About the Author:
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. To visit Camille, go to www.camillepicott.com.
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Disclosure: I received the audiobook free for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.