A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Friday, November 12, 2010

Tori's Review: Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Every once in a while I deviate from the paranormal/fantasy section and read a historical romance. Since I do sometimes post non-paranormal reviews on Book Faery, I thought it would make sense for me to post all my reviews from now on.

- 288 pages
Price: $5.99
ISBN 10: 0373296142
ISBN 13: 978-0373296149
Released: October 1, 2010

Jeannie's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: NetGalley 
Genre: Historical Romance 
1. Butterfly Swords

Journey to the very edge of honor, loyalty . . . and love

During China’s infamous Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury, yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty, betrayed Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding.

Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for a defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior…

Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her – which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted….

My Rating: DNF - Please note that I skimmed the latter half, and thus, feel wrong giving this book a rating.

My Opinion:
I wanted to love the world and the characters in BUTTERFLY SWORDS. Because of the setting, I believed the story had a lot of potential to be rich and the adventure exciting. Instead, the story fell flat; the writing did not fully draw me in -- which I think was one of the primary problems for me -- and the hero was not all that impressive.

Usually with adventure stories, they're either full of excitement/beautifully written, or they soon grow repetitive and tiresome to read about. I thought BUTTERFLY SWORDS fell into the latter category. This is, interestingly enough, primarily where the writing disappointed me. I did not feel invested when Ai Li and Ryam were sneaking around, attempting to avoid the guards searching for them. I simply kept on reading (apathetic the entire time) and neither felt any sense of relief when the two managed to escape, nor any connection to their environment. You know how some stories seem to have the characters living in their own little world, disconnected to their surroundings? For some reason, I felt like it was like that instead of having the environment almost as its own character. That was the first sign of "trouble" when reading this story.

Ryam, our pale-skinned barbarian, fell flat for me, too. Like the environment, I felt no connection with his character at all, which is probably one of the most disappointing aspects of this book for me. He was not fully developed as a character and was not an interesting love interest. So, because I found our hero uninteresting, I never felt fully invested with this romance (which is a problem, considering what the genre is). What I cannot understand is why Ryam would not be developed further. We don't even learn (unless I missed it while skimming) where he comes from. Why include a foreigner then if he brings no real uniqueness to the overall story?

I think the only redeeming quality about this book was how kick ass Ai Li was, especially with her butterfly swords. The fight scenes in this book were my favorite parts. I loved that the author created an independent character who was strong enough to disobey the rules to protect her family. Too bad her love interest lessened the story for me.... and that Ai Li was reduced to the same virginal sissy that we encounter in numerous historicals.

I do give Jeannie Lin props, though, for thinking outside the box and exploring a different time period and writing an interracial romance. While I did not enjoy this story, I will be interested in checking out her future titles, since she does bring a breath of fresh air to the historical romance genre.


  1. Aww, I'm sad to hear you didn't finish this one. I love Asian historical fiction.

  2. Yeah, it's interesting. Too bad this one wasn't as interesting :/