on 4 October 2010
This is a good example of why I should keep on trying books I think are out of my comfort-zone. I really doubted I could love a historical romance set in China. Why not? Because I knew next to nothing of China at that time (I hate feeling stupid). And I was scared of reading about a very different culture I was afraid I wouldn't understand. Prejudiced much? heh! Well I read Butterfly Swords and I'm glad for it. There isn't anything not to love in this book.
We're following Ai Li from the moment she flees before her wedding. Ai Li has been promised to a powerful war Lord by her parents. She accepted this arranged marriage as is the tradition but when she learns he's plotting against her father she flees to warn him. On her way back home she meets a man with blond hair and blue eyes. Ryam is considered a barbarian in these lands, a `white demon', and most of all he would be killed if he was found . Ryam meets Ai Li in a difficult position and decides to help her find her way home despite the facts that he knows nothing of this woman.
This book was an adventure. I don't even know where to start. Ai Li comes from a family of warriors. Her grand-mother taught her how to use her butterfly swords. She practiced fighting all her life, by herself or with her brothers. She is one tough cookie! I really really liked this character, she is strong and can take care of herself. She believes in honor and will always keep true to her words. Ryam doesn't belong anywhere. He's the soldier type, he's also a womanizer and loves to get into trouble. Those two know they can't have anything together. Ai Li comes from a powerful family and Ryam is a nobody. I loved that their relationship wasn't rushed. It happens fast yes, but many things will stand between them and you can see them realize and fight the true nature of their feelings.
Jeannie Lin's writing is beautiful and it flows easily. I discovered China as it was centuries ago and it's absolutely breath-taking (see? cheapest vacations ever! *wink*). While reading I felt like Ryam, a stranger in a strange world, discovering a new culture and new exotic lands. The story is intriguing and kept me hooked until the last page. I knew how it would end but how we got there was the best part. The only thing that made me roll my eyes (yes I do that a lot it seems lol) is the mystery about Ai Li's true identity. It was a bit...amusing. lol
Butterfly Swords is a fantastic adventure, where a swords-wielding heroine and a blue-eyed barbarian will fight anything standing in their path. Jeannie Lin will take you on a trip to China you will not forget.
I give Butterfly Swords 4 1/2 Bookies