My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was already a huge fan of the Twisted Tales series before I read this book and what this book has done has made me an even bigger fan!
In this retelling of Disney’s “Mulan”, the story picks up right after Shan Yu has started to attack Mulan and her troop on the mountain side. With no more ammo and time running out, Mulan bravely takes their last cannon and shoots it at the mountain, creating an avalanche, covering the Huns in it’s path. Shan Yu, leader of the Huns, manages to get one blow in before he’s covered, aiming for Mulan but getting her leader and friend Li Shang instead.
Once the snow clears, Li Shang is on the verge of death and Mulan takes it upon herself to save him. Little did she know that praying to her ancestors would bring her Shang’s guardian, a lion named Shi Shi, that arrives to take her to Diyu, the underworld. There, she negotiates with the king of the underworld in an attempt to bring her friend back home – he’s not ready to die. He still has a lot to do for China.
Battling through 99 levels of the underworld proves to be difficult not only because of the trials the team faces but also because of the spirits that are there to misguide them along the way. It’s a thriller in every sense of the word.
You know what I love about this book? It was unpredictable. I thought I knew what was going to happen and found myself with my jaw dropped on several occasions. The twists and turns remind me a lot of one of my favorite TV shows, “Once Upon a Time”, which is also in the Disney franchise and intertwines stories and characters in such a way that is so impressive you could die.
I also loved that I learned more about the Chinese culture, especially their thoughts on honoring your ancestors and what happens in the afterlife. Learning that some spirits wait forever in a place, waiting for their turn to go to heaven, and some never making it there was sad but informative. I also learned that some people are reincarnated while others have debts to pay before they can move on.
If you are a fan of fairy tales, Disney princesses, or thrilling adventures, then this book is for you. I would recommend you check out the other Twisted Tales and be on the lookout for the newest one “Part of Your World” coming out in September.