Title:  The Warrior Maiden
Author:  Melanie Dickerson
Genre:  YA, fantasy
Rating:  3.7 out of 5

Mulan doesn’t want to stay home and marry the butcher’s son, but with her father dead, there aren’t many options for her and her mother. Rather than waste her life tied to a man she doesn’t love, she disguises herself as a soldier and goes off to war to protect her liege lord’s castle.

Wolfgang, a duke’s son, is eager to fight against the rampaging Teutonic Knights, but his brother, still bitter from a childhood tragedy, defects to join the Knights, leaving Wolfgang to fight his battles alone. Until he meets the young soldier Mikolai, who is inexperience but brave, and the two form a formidable team.

But there’s something that doesn’t quite add up about Mikolai, and when the boy is injured, Wolfgang realizes he’s really a girl—Mulan. She is still determined to be a soldier and to keep her mother safe, but Wolfgang just wants to protect her—and make a future for them together.

I love the Disney Mulan, and I love a good re-telling, so I was eager to read this. The story itself was solid and enjoyable, but I never did feel close to the characters. All of their emotions and motivations felt distant, and unconvincing because of it. I’m actually interested in reading more of these re-tellings from this author—I do love Disney—because she has a solid following and I’m hopeful this book just wasn’t a good fit for me.

Melanie Dickerson combines her love for history, adventure, and romance in her writing. The Warrior Maiden is her newest novel, a re-telling of Mulan.

(Galley courtesy of Thomas Nelson via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)