Warrior by Ellen Oh

Warrior.jpgTitle: Warrior
Author: Ellen Oh
Series: The Dragon King Chronicles
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: December 31, 2013
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

The summary of Warrior from Goodreads:

First an outcast, now a hero.

But her fight rages on.

Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom—and the crown prince—has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.

But it wasn’t enough.

Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others…

Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?

I’m an optimist. Usually. I’ve had to learn to look for the silver lining in any situation. I think that’s why I probably give books a lot of chances to impress me. And by the time I realize maybe a book isn’t for me, I’m usually too far into the book to put it down. I like to know how things end. I think this is why I picked up Warrior, hoping that Oh had improved in her writing style.

The Good:

The concept behind the book still interests me. I still want to know how the story started in Prophecy will end. Oh did write a beautifully constructed world with a different take on the good against evil fight, in the sense that it’s a culturally different take on the fight. I like that. It broadens my horizons and gives me new characters and heroes to root for.

I also enjoy that Kira is not the typical female hero, in that she is determined to win and feels a confidence in her talents that pushes her toward her goal. She’s struggling to deal with emotions she’s never dealt with before and situations that test her abilities. Yet, despite all her confidence in her abilities, she doubts herself.

Women are not considered powerful in her world. From the beginning, she’s challenged that by learning to fight and by being as strong as the best males. She can’t see how valuable she is as a person instead of just as a warrior. She doesn’t want to see herself as powerful outside of being a warrior. She lacks confidence in her ability to be something her society says no woman should be.

The Bad:

I still felt like I was being told everything instead of seeing it through my mind’s eye. I’m told how Kira feels. I’m told how other people fit into the fight. I’m told how I’m supposed to feel about situations because they are explained by how Kira feels. Instead of giving me the information and space to decide if an action is good or bad, Kira tells me right away.

I think the other issue I have is less about the book itself and more about me as a reader. I’ve read a lot of fantasy. Well-written fantasy is probably one of my favorite genres to read. I’ve read so many excellent fantasy novels that it’s difficult to not compare every fantasy to those. This isn’t wrong, really, because comparing books to each other helps determine what we like and don’t like, and what we value as readers. However, I also don’t think it’s entirely fair to say that I should think that because I prefer the style of one book over another that any book that doesn’t fit my preferred style is bad. It’s not. It’s just not right for me.

The Recommendation:

If you enjoyed Prophecy, even a little bit, you’ll probably like this one as well. The series is good enough to keep me interested and reading, despite the flaws I find in it.

Purchasing Links:

Barnes and Noble

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