I have been trying to write this review for days. This book is one of those books that I really wanted to like--I mean really, really wanted to fall in love with...but (ah, but there is the but) the truth is that it just fell flat. I struggled to get a third into the book and ended up skimming the rest. I hesitate to call that "reading the book" and thus will label it as a DNF.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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…
It is set in a different setting/country. The premise is very interesting--girl going against her station to try to save her family.
The problem with travel/quest stories is that they sometimes become tedious and repetitive, just like this one did. I found myself growing tired of the heroine repeating the same ideas over and over and over. Really, I got it the first time.
My other issue is why use a foreigner as the hero if you are not going to develop him fully? Why create a lackluster paper doll of a barbarian hero? This book is set during one of the greatest "movements of peoples" (barbarian tribes and hordes on the move and all that stuff) and yet we are presented with a dull and inchoate barbarian hero?
Needless to say, I did not find the setting to be terribly rich, nor did I find the characters to be very well developed. For me they lacked colour, focus, and spark. They were just not interesting. I am sorry to say that this book helped me, at least four times, to fall asleep, and no, I am not being hyperbolic.
If you like...
Different historical romance settings.
I have struggled with this review because it is not a bad book, it is just a book that did not work for me.
Where I got it: Netgalley