The Hidden Blade (The Heart of Blade Duology #1) by Sherry Thomas
Series: The Heart of Blade Duology #1
Publication Date: July 20, 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction
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In the waning days of the last dynasty, in a quiet, beautiful corner of imperial Peking, a young girl's blissful ignorance is shattered when she learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan. What future is there for such a girl? But a mysterious figure steps forward and offers to instruct her in the highest forms of martial arts--a path to a life of strength and independence.
Half a world away in England, a young boy's idyllic summer on the Sussex downs implodes with the firing of a single bullet. Torn from his family, he becomes the hostage of a urbanely sadistic uncle. He dreams of escaping to find his beloved friend--but the friend is in China, ten thousand miles away.
The girl trains to be deadly. The boy flees across continents. They do not know it yet, but their lives are already inextricably bound together, and will collide one fateful night when they least expect it.
'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' meets 'Downton Abbey,' this remarkable tale of friendship, danger, and coming of age will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.
A prequel to MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY.
This book is a prequel to My Beautiful Enemy and a story that needs to be read before that book is picked up. The back story to the lives of Leighton and Ying-Ying are so very important to the core of the story. It’s also an incredibly wonderful book!
I loved reading about Ying-Ying’s life and how it differed from that of Leighton. The rules of the Chinese culture were something I found fascinating. Her training as a martial artist was intriguing, especially as she started it at such a young age – I believe she was somewhere between 6-8 if I remember correctly.
Leighton’s story was heart breaking. I loved reading about the bond he had with his father, and his father’s friend, Herb, as well as the close relationship he had with his little brother. The author could have so easily left the mother and younger brother on the sidelines of the story but she made them a big part of it and I loved that.
This is a book filled with love, though it’s not a romance. It’s a wonderful novel of family, and also what it’s like to grow up without one. I’ve loved Thomas’s writing before, but this was something different – and worth reading.
Rating: 4 out of 5