Reflection – Elizabeth Lim

Reflection: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tales, #4)

Reflection: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reflection is the fourth book in the Twisted Tales series, although this is the first book not written by author Liz Braswell. Reflection is written by Elizabeth Lim and focuses on Mulan’s story, just after she steals the canon and causes an avalanche to save China from the Huns. I previously read the Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin books in the Twisted Tales and I was not impressed. Although the stories were interesting enough, I didn’t feel that the characters were particularly true to themselves (or their iterations in the classic Disney-versions of the tales), so I was a little concerned going into this book although I had high hopes because it was a different author.

Let me tell you – I was not disappointed. Elizabeth Lim does a fantastic job capturing the voices of the characters in this book so that Mulan and Shang were the characters that I know and love. I read the first half of the book and then listened to the audiobook for the second half, so I feel that I had both experiences. The narrator for the audiobook did such a fantastic job with Mulan’s voice, although she was obviously not Ming Na I still was completely convinced that I was listening to my Mulan. As Mulan is my favourite (followed very closely by Jasmine), this was super important to me.

Although the events of the movie were changed the slightly, ultimately the story takes place in the movie/book during the time Mulan is hurt by Shan Yu (or Shang in the book). We never see those moments, so I feel that it gave the author much more flexibility with her story and allowed her to develop the characters and relationships in a way that wouldn’t interfere with or colour the way you experienced the animated movie.

In the book, instead of Mulan being injured by Shan Yu after she shoots the canon – it is Shang that is hurt. Unfortunately for him, his injury is much more grave than Mulan’s was in the movie and he might not survive it. Faced with the guilt that his injury is her fault and the desire to save her friend, Mulan travels to Diyu to save the Captain. I loved getting to learn about Diyu and the mythology there. I am not as familiar with it as I would like to be, as it’s been years since I really read into Chinese mythology but I felt that it was really well done and makes me want to dive back in.

The book switches between plot heavy moments with action scenes and near-death situations to really rich scenes full of character development and relationship building. I loved getting to see Shang and Mulan (as Ping) work together, further cementing their friendship – and then finally the reveal of who Mulan is and how Shang copes with it. There was just so much more development on that front than in the movie and gave me so many feelings about them. My heart loved it so much.

The author also did a fabulous job of weaving in classic lines (or allusions to lines) into the book, moments or scenes you might be familiar with, and just Mulan’s state of mind from the movie – in a way that didn’t feel like she was just blatantly plagiarizing the script and then adding a few extra scenes. As fun as those allusions were in the previous books, they just weren’t as flawlessly woven into the narrative as I felt that they were in Reflection.

Once I purchased the audiobook for this, I absolutely flew through it and finished the book in a day and a half. I couldn’t put it down, so I was listening while driving, walking, cleaning, or whenever else I got a chance. The book was engrossing and felt so true to the original Disney-version of the tale. It also makes me want to read other books by this author. If you were hesitant to read the Twisted Tales series, give this one a chance – I don’t think you will regret it.

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6 thoughts on “Reflection – Elizabeth Lim

    • kyera says:

      No, I don’t recall doing that… But I immediately re-watched Mulan last weekend after finishing it and as a result Alex has been singing I’ll make a man out of you for the last two days.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I’m so so excited that this worked out. I have not been a fan of the other books in this series, and I was a bit weary of this one – even though I bought it because it’s MULAN. LOVE. But now I’ll be racing off to go read this book ASAP because your review has me so hype. Great review, Kyera! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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