What are the Golden Braids?
The Golden Braids are five retellings of Rapunzel by five different authors, each unique in tone, setting, and moral. This collection has something in it for every reader.
And having read two of the stories already, I firmly stand behind that there is a story for every reader in this collection.
Today’s focus is on the epic fantasy novel, The Dragon’s Flower, which I absolutely loved. Author Wyn Estelle Owens did a phenomenal job of bringing the Asian culture to life and so very excited to gush about this five-star read! Take a look at what her book is about and then scroll down to see all of my ramblings. 😉
About the Book
In the wilds of the mountainous country of Akiyama, there stands a pagoda. When Shichiro, an exiled, honorless samurai stumbles across it one rainy morning, he expects to find it empty and abandoned. He was not expecting to find a lonely princess with near-mythical blue eyes dwelling in the top floors.
Hanako has dwelt alone for all her life, with only her two silent handmaidens and the countless dragon effigies on her walls to keep her company; her only knowledge of the outside world gained from the books and scrolls she reads. When the wandering ronin stumbles onto her haven, she gains her first friend, never knowing how deeply this chance meeting would affect her.
The threads of fate have tied these two together, and all the while turmoil boils in the midst of the Seven Countries of Azuma-no-Kuni. Rumors of alliances and armies sprout up, and whispers of the long-lost Imperial Line returning at last. Old prophecies ripen at last, and old myths prepare to show themselves once again in the hour of need. Amongst it all stand two new allies—an isolated princess and a near-friendless ronin, as the wheels of fate and destiny circle them and draw ever closer. Will peace at last return to the fractured realms, or will remnants of the once great Empire splinter beyond all redemption?
Another Asian-inspired fantasy to be added to my collection of favorites!
For the first half of this book, I devoured it. Shichiro was my absolute favorite and because of certain events that unfold at the halfway point, it was harder for me to love the second half. However, that is not to say things were not very good. It was indeed still awesome! (My heart was just a little broken is all. Ha!)
You really get to see everything unfold as well as grow closer to these band of characters. Having the Celestials involved was another one of my favorite parts because they positively oozed the Asian culture and loved it so so so much. Each one was so colorfully unique that had me totally caught up in these pages.
Hanako’s self-journey from beginning to end was beautiful and encouraging. She definitely is not that same shy young woman as she was! Her value of friendship was something I found to be special and made me smile many times as she made a new friend.
The Dragon’s Flower is one I could see myself rereading again and would love to have on my bookshelf. It was fun, engaging, and involved one of my favorite cultures. The author truly did an incredible job of bringing this world to life with the polite mannerisms, the loyalty, and the personal fondness I have for samurais.
If you are looking for an excellent Asian-inspired fantasy, I recommend this one for sure!
*(I received an ARC of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts expressed are my own.)*
About the Author
Wyn Estelle Owens is the penname of a young woman who’s still figuring out what this whole ‘adult’ thing is all about. She lives in a big, old house in Maryland by a Hundred Acre Wood (dubbed Neldoreth) with her parents, three occasionally obnoxious brothers, her dog Jackie, and her rabbit Joker. She is fond of reading, writing, drawing, speaking in dead or imaginary languages, playing videogames, quoting classic or obscure literature, being randomly dramatic, and generally making things out of yarn. Her dream is to write stories that inspire people to chase after the wonderful world of storytelling. Her favorite all-time authors are Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Christa Kinde, and above all, J.R.R. Tolkien, who first inspired her to pursuing novel writing when she read the Hobbit at the age of seven.