Review: Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Filed in Jeannie Lin , Review , The HEA Lover Posted on September 28, 2010 @ 6:00 am 7 comments

Format Read: eARC from Netgalley
Release Date: October 1st 2010
Publisher: Harlequin
Formats Available: eBook, Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 288 pages
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, GoodReads, Amazon, Book Depository UK, Book Depository US

Book Blurb:

Journey to the very edge of honor, loyalty . . . and love
During China’s infamous Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury, yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty, betrayed Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding.
Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for a defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior…
Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her – which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted….

My Thoughts:

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

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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Join the Discussion
  • Sugar September 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Sounds great!

  • pattepoilue September 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    @Sugar It really is! =) And very different from the usual historical romances 😉

  • Scorpio M. September 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I really want to read this one. I have been breaking reading boundaries lately, as well. Read my first historical fantasy (The Fire Lord's Lover) & steampunk recently (The Iron Duke) and loved them both.

    Butterfly Swords is definitely on my buy list!

  • pattepoilue September 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    @Scorpio M. Ohhhh yessssss The Fire Lord's Lover was fantastic *g* And I can't WAIT to read the Iron Duke. *sob* Still a month before release *sob*

    Butterfly Swords is very 'new' because of the setting and the fact that there is a lot of action. It's a real adventure. Really good *g* I hpe you'll like it too 😉

  • Jenny N. September 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I've had my eye on this one. I'm Chinese myself but don't read many book with a Chinese main character.

  • Bea September 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I have this in my TBR pile, I may need to move it closer to the top. I keep hearing good stuff about it.

  • pattepoilue September 29, 2010 at 6:34 am

    @Jenny N. I was afraid I'd be completely lost, culturally speaking, but I found this book very educative. I learned a lot about Chinese culture and history. I hope you like it too =)

    @Bea oh yes! I've read only good stuff too. I was skeptical before starting this book but now I'm glad I did read it =)

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