I really enjoy historicals set in “unique” settings (how odd that a unique setting means anywhere NOT in England!). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my regencies, but honestly, the world is FULL of adventure. Why settle for just one place?
I have read The Dragon and the Pearl and also Butterfly Swords, two of Jeannie Lin‘s previous books set in Tang dynasty China, and I really enjoyed them. But their “unique” setting is the least of what makes them great stories. I like Ms. Lin’s writing style, especially the little humorous bits here and there. There is an element of suspense to the two aforementioned books, and I think she does a great job balancing this with the romance. Her characters are likable and sympathetic, and while she keeps secondary characters secondary, I also find them to be very intriguing, and hope to see more of them in the future (I think The Dragon and the Pearl could have been twice as long, and equally as engaging, with the rich amount of backstory that could be told).
Why do I mention all of this today? Well, because today is a book birthday!