by Jillian Boehme
Published by Tor Teen
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Romance, YA
Format Read: ARC, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
A combat warrior will risk everything to awaken the dragons and save her kingdom in Jillian Boehme's epic YA Fantasy debut, Stormrise, inspired by Twelfth Night and perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce.
If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.
Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.
As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Books and movies inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night are some of my favorite adaptations. Stormrise by Jillian Boehme has strong leanings and similarities to Disney’s Mulan – Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies – and Boehme adds in fantasy elements, so of course the book caught my eye. At the start of the book, we’re introduced to Rain, a young girl training in a special form of combat called Neshu. She is being taught by her father, though it’s a form typically only taught to males, in a world where the only expectations of the females is to marry around the age of 18. Signs of war arise threatening the kingdom and a draft is issued calling for one male from each household. Due to unique family circumstances with her father and brother, that I won’t go into so as not to spoil the story, Rain moves to enlist in her father and brother’s place.
Stormrise is a fairly good debut by this author for the young adult audience. The story progresses at a solid pace with enough action balanced by the development of relationships between Rain and the secondary characters. The interactions between Rain and the other members of her special military unit were actually what I enjoyed the most – I found the camaraderie and competitive nature of the individuals in the group believable and entertaining. Other than her interactions with her military unit, Rain’s relationship with her father was especially sweet. Stormrise could have used a bit more world-building and description though – a map of Ylanda and locations Rain traveled to would have helped immensely. I also found the romance a bit of a stretch. If you aren’t as particular about reading insta-love stories, then you might not have an issue with this. I personally just found that Rain and her love interest had little chemistry and, other than a few naive qualities described through Rain’s perspective, I wasn’t able to get a good feel for why they were attracted to each other in the first place, let alone making declarations of love for each other.
Marie loves finding strangers reading her favorite books, it truly seems like the books are recommending people as potential friends. By day she works in healthcare technology product marketing, but can always be found amongst the streets of Boston with a book or her Kindle in hand. Reading is one of her greatest passions and she has an appreciation for all genres – favorites include business non-fiction, contemporary, historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction. Since most strangers frown upon being interrupted reading their book, and if it’s one of Marie’s favorites they’re probably super absorbed into it, she enjoys supporting her local bookish community and writing reviews and making recommendations to those who are looking to explore books that might be a bit out of their comfort zone.