Welcome to my blog! Today I’ll be introducing you to The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao and reviewing the book! I am so excited that I had the chance to read this book and I’m so happy I got to participate in the blog tour! Below if the official tour schedule, so be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers who are participating on the #DragonWarriorTour !
- Afire Pages
- Marshmallow Pudding
- Read by Tiffany
- Some Books & Ramblings (Me!)
- Bookwyrming Thoughts
- Endless Chapters
- A Book Devourer
- Another Book In The Wall
- Forever & Everly
- celuna maria
- Lost In Storyland
- Sophie’s Corner
- Stressed Book Addict
- Caitlin Althea
- Tomes and Thoughts
- Book Geek Musings
- The Sparrow’s Perch
- Your Tita Kate
The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao, to be published October 15th, 2019 by Bloomsbury Kids. Recommended reading age is 8+
Bullying/racism (from kids and adults alike), familial death, friend death, kidnapping, hints of abusive home situation, betrayal, and missing parental figures.
As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret.
Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year.
With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny?
Inspired by Chinese mythology, this richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.
Katie Zhao is a 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English and Political Science, and a 2018 Masters of Accounting at the same university. She is the author of Chinese #ownvoices middle grade fantasy THE DRAGON WARRIOR (Bloomsbury Kids, October 2019 & 2020), as well as a young adult author. She is a mentor for Author Mentor Match. She is currently open to freelance editorial services for young adult and middle grade manuscripts.
This book was fantasticI I loved the characters and their separate arcs, how richly woven the culture was written, and the plot of the story. I enjoyed reading the emotional arcs for each character as well as the physical learning journey each character had to go through. There were times I wanted to cry, and there were times I wanted to scream, but there were also times where I was smiling and when I was happy for them.
My favorite parts where when they were in Phoenix. They met Ren, they were just starting their journey and learning their own roles in it, and were still bickering with each other. Faryn and Alex have such a on point dynamic as siblings, from picking fights with each other to being proud and protective of one another. I really enjoyed reading it (and it made the ending that much worse!)
This book has character death, bullying, racism, kidnapping, family trauma, abusive adults and more but it also has strong female characters of color, tough friendships, and wholesome family dynamics.
I felt it was important to show the daily bullying and racism that Faryn and Alex went through not just in the outside world, but within their own community. I hope young kids read this and don’t see themselves in it, but if they do, I hope they see how bravely the duo handled it and in such a mature way. I felt so proud and I had only known them for a few chapters. It was awful to read and I can’t imagine how it would feel in real life. You can tell the author was definitely drawing from some real life experiences.
Given that this is a middle grade book, I was shocked that the author delved so deep into the family traumas with on page death and fractured sibling relationships, but Katie Zhao has set up the next book wonderfully.
Alex’s character arc has so much more potential and I am so excited to see where Katie Zhao take him. I hope we get dual POV’s, and that we get to learn more about their Ba, Ren’s mom, and the deities. The ending gave off some very big “Last Olympian” vibes and I loved it.
I am excited to see how the next book plays out. The ending of this book left me breathless and I felt so bad for Faryn. Also, I love Ren? I knew I was going to love him the minute he set foot on the page and I can’t wait to see his journey in the next book.
I just finished this book this morning because I’ve been so busy lately which is why my review is so rambling. My thoughts are still pretty jumbled, focusing on my favorite parts and scenes! I hope this review made sense. Have you read this one? I highly recommend it! If you have, let me know your thoughts!
Thank you very much to Shaelea at Shut Up Shaelea / Caffine Book Tours for hosting this tour! I’ve been told over 60+ people applied to host, and I’m so thankful (and a bit in awe!) that I was one of the 24 selected! Thanks, Shaelea!