The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

By: Sherry Thomas

CHINA, 484 A.D.
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel. Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling—the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion…before it’s too late.

Author’s note. Further information on China in the 400s and on Chinese words used.

ISBN: 9781620148044

JLG Release: Dec 2019


Sensitive Areas: Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Graphic Descriptions, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse
Topics: Mulan , Chinese folklore , Legends , Fifth-century history of China , Warriors , Family , Feuds , Martial arts , Gender roles

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, Publishers Weekly*

Horn Book

Mulan has studied martial arts since childhood to prepare for her generation’s duel against a rival family for possession of two legendary swords. But the duel is postponed after the government announces a conscription to raise troops against an enemy invasion from across the Great Wall, and Mulan must answer the call—disguised as her deceased Mulan has studied martial arts since childhood to prepare for her generation’s duel against a rival family for possession of two legendary swords. But the duel is postponed after the government announces a conscription to raise troops against an enemy invasion from across the Great Wall, and Mulan must answer the call—disguised as her deceased twin brother. At the muster, Mulan is assigned to serve the royal duke’s son. The princeling (who turns out to be none other than her rival for the swords) undertakes a covert intelligence mission across the Wall, and Mulan joins him and his team of trackers and fighters, going deep into enemy territory. Does the princeling suspect Mulan’s true gender, though? The por-trayal of fifth-century China is engrossing, with descriptions of traditional foods, martial arts, and the flowery language of courtesy. The camaraderie among the princeling’s staff (and Mulan’s matchmaking between two of the men) will draw readers in, even as intrigue over a traitorous spy and a government coup heighten the suspense. It is Mulan’s story, however—her rocky introduction to combat and her growth in valor, plus the growing attraction between her and the princeling—that makes this revisioning of the ancient Chinese legend (that also inspired the animated Disney feature, scheduled for an upcoming live-action treatment) such a captivating tale.

Book Details

ISBN

9781620148044

First Release

December 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

398.20951

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

352

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 840L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Tu Books

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Graphic Descriptions, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse

Topics

Mulan, Chinese folklore, Legends, Fifth-century history of China, Warriors, Family, Feuds, Martial arts, Gender roles,

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