GIRL WITH FLYING WEAPONS
By Aya Ling
*I received a free copy of this book for review, which does not affect my opinion in any way*
SET IN ninth-century feudal China, Girl with Flying Weapons is an atmospheric mystery that weaves together the lives of the mysterious servant girl Hong and her master, the governor’s son—recently accused of murder.
The opening chapter brings the lush, fairytale quality of this story to life with a stealthy murder committed on a lantern-decked riverboat. We’re soon introduced to Hong, a quietly endearing heroine who trains with Old Man Liu to be a skilled martial artist/spy. Her love interest, Fang, is also refreshingly humble and well-intentioned, and the romance that blossoms between them is slow and sweet. The names, places, and phrases feel remarkably researched, and there was never an instant when I felt knocked out of ninth-century China and back into the twenty-first century.
Hong works mostly in the background to uncover the forces conspiring to frame Fang for murder, and there isn’t too much of her in action with the flying weapons in this book—however, that narrative choice feels more realistic. I also hope to read more about Hong’s backstory and motivations to pick up learning the martial arts in future stories. All in all, the story was engaging and the characters likeable, recommended for YA age and up! I’m looking forward to what Aya Ling has in store for Hong next.
Recommended for fans of: Alison Goodman, Kristin Cashore
Upcoming January Book Review: Wildfire by Karsten Knight and Angelfall by Susan Ee