After reading a 500+ page novel of China that offered little action, I was ready to spice things up this week.
So I turned to Jeannie Lin’s debut novel, Butterfly Swords (Harlequin, 2010). With a setting in Tang Dynasty China and an international romance between a warrior princess and a rugged barbarian, I was game.
Lin captured my attention from the beginning, with her colorful description of a wedding procession gone awry. The wedding sedan chair overturned, swords flew, and a princess fled from the man she was destined to marry. Pretty exciting stuff.
From there, Princess Ai Li (or Ailey) and her blond European savior escaped to the western throes of the empire only to find themselves torn between love and duty.
The only literature I’ve read set during the Tang Dynasty was a halfhearted attempt at poetry just before I entered graduate school. Even with my untrained eye, it seems like Lin has done thorough research into that period. The clothes, the weapons, the drinking halls, the terrain, the modes of transportation.
I can’t wait to read Jeannie Lin’s next novel!