Stormrise by Jillian Boehme
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons
A combat warrior will risk everything to awaken the dragons and save her kingdom in Jillian Boehme’s epic YA Fantasy debut, Stormrise, inspired by Twelfth Night and perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce.
If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.
Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.
As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.
About the Author:
JILLIAN BOEHME is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7234281.Jillian_Boehme
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Stormrise by Jillian Boehme
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I struggled a lot while reading Stormrise because I oscillated between enjoying it, being conflicted about it, and cringing at it. My biggest concern was the fact that the first 40% of the book was an almost direct pull from the plot of Disney’s Mulan. Obviously, there was more detail and more scenes added in – but nomads trying to breach the Stone Wall (instead of the Great Wall), all men being conscripted into the army, the father having been injured in the last war and the daughter taking off in the night so he doesn’t have to go back, the long journey to the camp, the young commander that is really good at his job and his elders respect, the repeated failures to get an item at the top of a rope (instead of a pole) and finally perseverance wins out and she makes it, etc. – if you’re familiar with the Disney version of the story of Mulan than you will wonder if you’re reading a Mulan retelling. It went its own way to a degree for some of the middle of the book and then blended the originality with the ending of Mulan once more. I would have given it more of a pass if it had said it was inspired by Mulan, but with more dragons! Okay, I can be on board for that. I love Mulan and dragons, but this said it was a retelling of Twelfth Night (the only commonality was the crossdressing, the rest of the plot didn’t correlate) so I felt like this was a deception.
That being said, I love Mulan so I enjoyed it despite the fact that I always wondered if it was slightly plagiarized. I really had fun going on the journey with Rain as she trained with her fellow soldiers. The first 40% of the book was incredibly enjoyable, even though as I mentioned before there were some moments when I cringed over the writing quality or descriptions. I still really got absorbed in the book and the story in the beginning. When it started to be more original and follow the plot of Mulan less is when I felt some of my attention waning. There was a lot of time and detail given to scenes that I felt could have been shortened and would have helped with the pacing.
I really appreciated the thought put into the dragons. Even though I wish that there was more world building and lore given, I felt that the dragons were a unique element in this book. They were represented very differently than I feel dragons normally are in literature. The main dragon that we are exposed to in the story has a coat (think fur) and six legs – I appreciated that she took the time to draw more inspiration from Asian depictions of dragons than Western ones, since I feel they are woefully underrepresented in literature. Although I wish we were given more, I do think that the dragon lore was a redeeming element of the book because it was original (to me).
There were no characters that I personally connected with, although I liked Forest the most. That being said, you may find yourself connecting with some of the characters that I did not and enjoy the book more. There was a little character development over the course of the novel, most of which came from Rain (our main character) although it was more telling than showing those changes. Sometimes the new opinions and actions were jarring because they seemed to come out of nowhere. I felt the same way about the romance, I never felt it building it just seemed to have random moments or scenes which felt unjustified and then were cemented without the proper foundation.
Overall, I ended up feeling fairly middle of the road about this book. There were times that I really enjoyed it and others in which I couldn’t put it down fast enough (I don’t want to spoil anyone, so I didn’t talk about those moments). It ended on a satisfying note but mirrored Disney’s Mulan once more. As a result, I felt this book deserved three out of five stars – it had moments when it was enjoyable and others when it wasn’t. I had such high hopes for this because I love dragons and I’m left feeling confused.
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For details on the preorder campaign go to: www.jillianboehme.com/preorder
You can order SIGNED/PERSONALIZED COPIES is here: https://www.parnassusbooks.net/stormrise
- Prize: Win (1) of (4) finished copies of STORMRISE by Jillian Boehme (US/CAN Only)
- Starts: 10th September 2019
- Finishes: 24th September 2019
- Prize: Win a finished copy of STORMRISE by Jillian Boehme (US/CAN Only)