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Butterfly Swords

Butterfly Swords

Escrito por Jeannie Lin

Narrado por Sarah Lam


Butterfly Swords

Escrito por Jeannie Lin

Narrado por Sarah Lam

valoraciones:
4/5 (20 valoraciones)
Longitud:
10 horas
Publicado:
May 23, 2015
ISBN:
9781464045080
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

Winner of the Golden Heart Award for
historical romance, Jeannie Lin’s Butterfly Swords combines riveting period detail and thrilling action for a romantic adventure set
during China’s Tang dynasty. Princess Ai Li, fleeing from an undesirable marriage, enlists the aid of warrior Ryam, and love soon begins to blossom.


In a starred review, Publishers Weekly praises Lin’s “especially vibrant writing describing the culture, clothes, and countryside …
Publicado:
May 23, 2015
ISBN:
9781464045080
Formato:
Audiolibro


Sobre el autor

Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first romance while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles. Her first two books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and The Dragon and the Pearl was listed among Library Journal's Best Romances of 2011.

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3.9
20 valoraciones / 14 Reseñas
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  • (2/5)
    Oh how I wanted to love this story, but I didn't. To be honest this was all I wanted to type for my review, and really there is nothing else that needs to be said. However, I will list what is becoming the very usual and oh so common issues with romance books I have been reading lately. (Someone get quality control stat!!!)
    At the beginning of the story I felt really thrust into it, felt like I was playing catch up in the first couple chapters. While the backstory was interesting it took too long to for the author to get to important details. Then it started to feel like backstory details were being dragged out for too long because the info wasn't really crucial to the characters. By the time I am more than halfway through the book I should know why the characters are acting they way they are, otherwise I don't think people can really connect to them.
    I could never picture what Ryam and Ai Li the lead characters looked like, which is so strange! Yes, Ryam was blonde and blued eyed and Ai Li had almond eyes and dark hair but the author didn't give them any depth and I always felt like I was reading through a veil. I couldn't get a grasp on the characters and because of this I never connected with them. The reader never gets to spend much time in their heads or reading their private thoughts so maybe this was the problem.
    Onto a common complaint: Strong feelings for each other very fast. I never understood why Ryam was willing to give his life for Ai Li or why she was willing to go against her family, mind you when all she talks about it honoring your family, for Ryam. Love so fast when no reasoning was shown or given (not even the ole reliable lust at first sight!).
    I don't want to ruffle any feathers but I feel like maybe this book could have been better if it wasn't a Harlequin series. I'm not usually a fan of their books. It seems to me they always kind of sorta dumb down and condense their books. The writing quality from the author seems to be there but maybe she was just handcuffed by Harlequin?
    Anyway, there was a lot of walking from Ai Li and Ryam as they either were trying to get to her father or away. Then a little bit of "I could never be good enough for you" and a is he or isn't he violent/crazy honorable/strong villain. I was incredibly excited when I read about this book coming out. It seemed like a fresh story about a land and time period grossly ignored. But really it could have just been another duke/shy miss regency for all the enjoyment I got out of reading it.
    The story was slow and frankly wasn't satisfactory. I could never even picture the hero and heroine which is so important. The C rating is due to the promise and quality I see in the author's writing and the freshness of the basis of the story. Like I said at the beginning I really wanted to like this book but my final words on it are lack of depth of character, slow, and disappointing.


    Oh and I think the author needs to write a prequel to this involving Adrian and Miya's story. Their story sounds fascinating!

    C-
  • (2/5)
    Given that this was published by Harlequin, I wasn't really holding out very much hope of it being a good book. Still, when it was mentioned during the discussions of the cover of Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix, I decided I'd give it a try when it was out, and have finally got round to it. It does have an Asian woman on the cover, and she is indeed holding a butterfly sword (though she should have two, I'm told). So it's winning there, at least.

    From her author bio on Goodreads, though:

    "After four years of trying to break into publishing with an Asian-set historical, her 2009 Golden Heart Award–winning manuscript, Butterfly Swords, sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon."

    At the very least, she deserves better than a publishing house associated -- among the people I know, anyway -- with dreck and exoticisation. I don't know much about the historical setting, really, and since I don't read much in the romance genre, I have little to compare it to in terms of exoticisation. There wasn't anything that made me deeply uncomfortable, at least, but how much that is worth from a white reader...

    In any case, the main character, Ai Li, is a strong woman. Not "feisty", but fierce, honourable, great-hearted, willing to do whatever it is she has to do. She's naive, too trusting, but she never simply expects Ryam to look after her. She is willing to take care of herself, and to some extent capable of doing so, without being a superwoman.

    Ultimately, some of the episodes seem to have little point -- the interlude with Lady Ling, for example -- and the characters aren't going to stay with me. I have truly no idea how plausible it all is. But it's a reasonably enjoyable read, I wasn't bored, the sex scenes were reasonably well-written, the story didn't feel like just a vehicle for the sex scenes... As an undemanding read to relax with on a Saturday afternoon, it was good fun.

    08/02/2011 -- Thinking about it later, after reading a critique of another Asian fantasy, I sort of think that this was more problematic in terms of gender roles than my review suggests. The big strong barbarian, always telling Ai Li what to do, and Ai Li foolishly trusting and relying on him... Does her rebellion ever really take her anywhere? Isn't she carefully put back into her place in the patriarchy, with her father and her lover talking about her and not to her?

    The details are already fading from my mind, less than a month later, too -- not the strongest book in the world, clearly.
  • (4/5)
    Listened to this as an audiobook. It was slow to start but about a third in I got involved with the characters and started to enjoy it. Wasn't sure how the obstacles would be overcome and the male character certainly suffers physically.Not bad for a romance novel of this kind.
  • (3/5)
    3.5* I wanted to like this book more than I actually did and I can't figure out what the problem was. I liked the h/h, the setting was really cool -- it was great to read a historical romance not set in England during the Regency, but it wasn't one of those books I just had to keep reading. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood? I have another one of the Tang Dynasty books in my tbr, so I will probably give this author another chance since the books are short and theoretically right up my alley. :)
  • (5/5)
    Loved, loved, loved this book. I loved Lin's My Fair Concubine, but this one blew that one away on so many levels. The heroine has to be one of my favorite of everything I read so far, self-sufficient and tough and yet still feminine and relate-able. I also really loved the hero, which I wasn't expecting, given that he's a Westerner, but the whole cross-cultural theme worked very well for me. It's woven quite flawlessly throughout the story. I loved the fact that the story was an action/adventure on top of the romance, so it read fast and furious compared to most of the stuff I've been reading, which seems quiet with the conflict arising mostly from internal turmoils (which isn't necessarily bad, just a different type of story). I'm definitely a Lin fan now and look forward to tearing through the rest of her backlist as soon as I get them.
  • (4/5)
    Princess Ai Li is running from an attack when she encounters a blue-eyed warrior Ryam, who is trying to get back to his own friends. He knows she's important but doesn't know how important. She's trying to get home to her parents because she knows that her prospective husband is the killer of one of her brothers. During their trip they discover that they mean more than they thought to each other and fall in love.I forgive this a lot because it's a debut novel. There were some studdery moments and moments where I felt like there was missing backstory, still I enjoyed it and it did pull me in a lot. I understand the why of the foreign love-interest but it felt a bit easy. I'm looking forward to more by this author.
  • (4/5)
    Princess Ai Li is doing the unthinkable. She is running away from the mam she is supposed to marry. A marriage that was arranged by her father, her actions could bring shame to her entire family. But she has good reason for doing so. She has discovered that her future husband played a part in the slaying of one of her brothers. Thankful that she has smuggled her trusted butterfly swords along with her, she fights free of her entourage and tries to make her way home.Ryam is a barbarian, begging for scraps as he tries to return to his military base after an attack that nearly killed him. He comes upon Ai Li defending herself against far greater numbers and decides to help her. This one decision changes both of their lives forever. As they make their way back to the capital and Ai Li's family, they gain each other's trust and respect, and not just in swordplay.The two face nearly impossible odds on their journey to the city and find themselves willing to do anything for the other. I loved both characters and the way they interacted was nearly perfect. There were a few occassions that the plot stalled for a few pages, but it generally to help the reader understand some aspect of the culture and took off again as soon as it could.3.5/5
  • (4/5)
    Hey - romance lovers. Let me introduce you to a nicely priced, fantastic little adventure book. As those of you who visit my blog regularly know, I'm not really a romance reader (although I do tend to read more romance during the fall/winter months). Still, I saw this title on NetGalley and decided to check out it. Warrior girl? Bring it on!Of course, there were all the normal cliches in this book, but that's what makes a romance novel a romance novel. There's the sense of danger, the muscled leading guy, the beautiful leading girl, the forbidden romance. Still, even with all of the normal ingredients a romance novel can be really bad.. or good, depending on the writing. Jeannie Lin did a fantastic job with the pace, her choice of words and her character development. My only complaint was that.. for being a story set in the Tang dynasty... the language and actions of the main characters were.. pretty modern. Still, it's a romance novel and not an educational history book.. so I'm willing to overlook that.Full of steam, romping fun and a good adventure overall!
  • (5/5)
    It's official release day for this book and I'd pre-ordered it so it would be here ASAP. I'd read the author's The Taming of Mei Lin and utterly loved it, so I had high expectations. No disappointment here! What a delicious whirlwind of action, adventure and love. The setting in Tang Dynasty China dazzles. It's such a wonderful change from the usual, and I loved getting a feel for the country and its landscapes. The culture differences add a wonderful dimension, and honor, family loyalty, and scheming imperial intrigue play key roles in the story. I cared about the sword-wielding heroine and hero, and as they fled pursuers, I worried for their lives and their love. I couldn't figure out how the author would pull off a happy ending between the daughter of a Chinese emperor and a blond "barbarian" without rank or family--but she did, with flair and terrific plot twists at the end. I can't wait to get my hands on the author's next book! (I also hope the hero of it will be the character I guessed. YUM.)
  • (5/5)
    BUTTERFLY SWORDS by Jeannie Lin is a historical romance set in 758 AD China- Tang Dynasty. It is well written with depth, details, fast paced and a page turner. It has sensuality, honor, betrayal, tradition, sword play, family, a princess, barbarians, adventure and a true love story. The hero, Ryam, is a barbarian, powerful swordsman, noble, trustworthy, stubborn and honorable. The heroine, Ai Lin, is a princess, daughter of an emperor, betrothed to Li Tao, the sixth child, stubborn, honorable, determined and believes in family tradition. She learns her betrothed has betrayed her father, possible killed her brother, so she escapes the wedding, determined to get back to her home and father. She believes her father will not want her to marry the man she believes betrayed her and her family. She is befriended by Ryam, who is determined to protect her at all cost. He is not aware she is a princess. They embark on an adventure, is tracked by her betrothed, Li Tao. Along the way Ryam and Ai Lin fall in love. She and Ryam are captured by Li Tao. Ai Lin agrees to marry Li Tao, if he will release Ryam and his men unharmed. Her father, the emperor arrives at Li Tao's. Ryam has other plans and will die before he gives Ai Lin to Li Tao. The two men battle for her release from the marriage.This is a true love story. I hope there will be more to this story for I would truly be interested to see what happens to Li Tao and his kingdom and if Ryam and Ai Lin live happily ever after.If you enjoy the Tang Dynasty, sword play, romance, sensuality, and sacrifice you will enjoy this one. This book was received for review from Net Galley and details can be found at Harlequin and My Book and More.
  • (4/5)
    My experience with reading Butterfly Swords was pure pleasure. From the first page to the last, I was captivated and intrigued.

    Ms. Lin weaves together a story you don’t want to put down, even when it is finished.At least, this was my experience. A Harlequin Historical, Harlequin did well chosing Ms. Lin to write for this imprint (line)

    Set during the Tang dynasty, China, 8th Century, Ai Li is the only daughter of the Empor who was thrust on the throne, and not being born to it. Raised a princess, her grandmother taught her to use “8 chop swords”. which Ms. Lin refers to as Butterfly Swords in both the title and the book. Ms. Lin chose to use this name and not the name used by the Chinese because of the hard/soft aspect of the sound of it, and, the romantic and action-like connotations that the name Butterfly Swords depicts of the Asian setting and time.

    Whatever reason Ms. Lin chose the name, I’m glad she did. From the moment I saw the cover, and Ms. Lin revealed it would be published, I have wanted to not only read, but own a copy of this book. I now do, thanks to winning a contest on a writer’s blog in the not so distant past. (Several months ago, actually.)

    Ai Li has been transported to meet her as yet unseen husband to be, when she discovers he is responsible for her Fourth Brother’s death. Unable to bear the thought of being with this monster, as she sees him, she flees with the help of a trusted supporter. Along the way, she meets a golden-haired barbarian, a foreigner to the Empire.

    Ryam has been in the Empire for some time, fighting and living with a band of brothers, so to speak. His best friend is married to the former Empress of the Empire, who fled the throne, leaving Ai Li’s father the new Empor. He has been battle-scarred, is tired and hungry when we meet him. He is struggling with the deaths of the men intrusted to him by his friend, and commander.

    Ryam spots Ai Li, who has fled her betrothed, Li Taos,, due to his duplicity and is dressed as a young man in disguise. Our hero sees through this disguise and is amused that she seems somehow able to pull it off. Ai Li spots the hungry “White Demon” as her people call him and offers him her bowl of rice which he’s been smelling all the while watching her. When her companions all begin to drop, and a band of men, most likely Li Taos, men attack her and try to take her with them, Ryam comes to her rescue with his sword and his ability to wield it. He also discovers that Ai Li is more than capable with her Butterfly Swords which she has studied with her brothers for a considerable amount of time.

    Ai Li and Ryam head toward Changan, the hub of the Empire her father rules. The princess proves to be not only beautiful, but strong and courageous, though at times, a bit deceptive with the hero. The two fall in love as they walk, ride, and fight their way to Ai Li’s parents home where she hopes to convince them that she cannot marry Li Taos.

    When things don’t go as planned, Ai Li and Ryam must decide what is most important. Honor and Loyalty, or Love? Neither believes it possible to have both.

    This was such an enjoyable read. Full of exotic descriptions of the “Silk Road” and the Tang dynasty era, one cannot escape the love that simmers and then boils over between Ai Li and Ryam. Throughout the book, Ryam calls our heroine Aylee, which in part helps us to understand how one would pronounce her name. This made reading Butterfly Swords just a little easier when it came to the heroine’s name.

    If you enjoy reading historical, like Asian culture, you’ll enjoy Ms. Lin’s debut novel, which was a 2009 Golden Heart Winner. Unlike many historical set in the Regency period, this one gives us both a beautiful and dangerous time to read about.

    I give this a 4 1/2 stars without a doubt. I encourage you to pick it up and read it. Like me, you’ll likely find yourself drawn to the other books since published by Ms. Lin, many of which are also set in the Tang dynasty era.

    As I stated earlier, I received this as a prize from a blog of writer, not Ms. Lin. I chose to read and then review it honestly.
  • (5/5)
    Growing up in a rural, slate-roofed village deep in the countryside of southeast China, the only English books my Chinese fiancée had to read back then were a brittle copy of Tess of the d'Urbervilles and a set of Harlequin novels. Yes, Harlequin, those pulpy paperbacks found on revolving wire racks at supermarket checkout aisles across North America and the UK. Their enticing cover art - usually, nay, always featuring shirtless, square-jawed men hovering millimeters away from the glistening-red lips of a damsel in distress - and formulaic flirt/fight/fall-in-love storylines mercilessly targeted housewives and secretaries longing for a 200-page escape from the dirty diapers and pot-bellied husbands of their mid-life realities. As it turns out, it was by reading books like "Stormy Voyage" by Sally Wentworth and Roberta Leigh's "Two-Timing Man" (purchased used for 7 RMB out of a sidewalk vendor's book cart), amongst other Harlequin classics, that my fiancée managed to teach herself English (which explains her tendency to throw her head back dramatically whenever we kiss). Curious how Harlequin, the forbidden fruit of literature, could be found anywhere in a Communist republic that has the world's most strict state-sponsored vetting process for publications, I was surprised to learn that in 1995 (about when my fiancée found her copies) Harlequin received official, red star-stamped permission to place half a million copies of twenty titles in Mandarin and a quarter-million copies of ten English versions on the shelves of Xinhua. Harlequin's stated goal: "to bring romance to millions of Chinese Women." A China.Org article on the increasing popularity of romance books in the P.R.C. concurred with Harlequin's audacious move: "Chinese women today have new demands for their Prince Charming: first, he must be powerful and distinguished...next, he must unlimited financial resources." Wosai! No wonder China has become home to the world's highest surplus of single men! Harlequin, which puts out 1,500 new titles annually in over 100 international markets, has yet to think up a romance set in present-day China (possible storyline: wealthy, second-generation Beijing businessman seduces sexy xiaojie with his shiny black Audie, pleather man-purse and a thick stack of redbacks; he agrees to save her Anhui village from being bulldozed by corrupt cadres if she will become his kept woman.). Until that day, we will have to entertain ourselves with stories set in China's olden times starring princesses and concubines. Enter Jeannie Lin, Harlequin's rising red-star of romance writing. She isn't the first author on Harlequin's roster to set her books in China (that honor goes to Jade Lee and her infinite "Tigress" series). But Lin's debut novel, Butterfly Swords, has been attracting a viral buzz louder than a summertime cicada not just for being the first Harlequin novel to NOT feature a man on the cover, but for using an Asian model as the cover girl, another Harlequin first. The star of Butterfly Swords is a Chinese woman, yes. But to give American readers something that they can relate to, the male love interest of Lin's novel is not a Chinese but a wandering whiteboy from the west. Ryam is drifting around the Tang empire begging for food (this sounds exactly like my own travels across China!) when he spots a disguised female being attacked by a pack of marauding bandits. The swordsman, who evokes images of bare-chested, fur underwear-wearing Thundarr the Barbarian from the eponymous 80's cartoon, rescues her, then agrees to escort her home. Little does Ryam know that young Ai Li is really a princess on the run from an arranged marriage to a dastardly warlord. The two proceed on their journey together across the 7th-century frontier, getting in adventures and slowly but surely falling in love. Pitting strength, courage and her fabulous butterfly swords against the forces of evil, Ai Li proves herself in the battlefield ("With Ai Li's swords and determined spirit it was easy to forget that she was innocent"). But where the book has significant cultural crossover appeal is in author Jeannie Lin's ability to keenly capture the multi-dimensional perspectives of both characters throughout their budding interracial relationship. From Ryam's course communicative abilities ("Where did you learn how to speak Chinese" Ai Li asks him, laughing. "You sound like you were taught in a brothel") to his struggles with his inner-white demons as a big, bad bai gui ("It was so much easier to seduce a woman than talk to her"), the reader is introduced not to some empty-headed he-man but a complex male of the species who is genuinely torn between his biological needs and respecting Ai Li's virtue. "I don't understand what she's talking about half the time," Ryam grumbles to himself. "Everything is about honor and duty." Surely even expats living in present-day P.R.C. can relate to this dilemma. Ai Li, meanwhile, finds herself attracted not only to Ryam's "musky scent" and "sleek muscles" (Harlequin prerequisites; don't blame the authoress), but his sincerity ("There was nothing barbaric about him. His manner was direct and honest. It was her own countrymen she needed to be worried about."). The protagonist does find herself frustrated with "this swordsman with blue eyes and the storm of emotions that came with him," but, true to life, Ai Li comes with her own personality flaws as well ("she was being irrational and she knew it"). Of course, it wouldn't be a Harlequin without passionate love scenes, something my fiancée missed out on in the heavily-censored Chinese versions. This Jeannie Lin does in the poetic prose of a Tang Dynasty-era pillow book yet with just enough creatively-provocative language to keep sex-numbed westerners interested ("Ryam slipped his fingers into her silken, heated flesh...her body went liquid and damp in welcome."). And thankfully without ever once resorting to the word "loin." Ryam proves himself to be an ideal lover for nubile Ai Li, "rough enough to make her breath catch, gentle enough to have her opening her knees," though one can't help but wonder how these two nomadic warriors can go so long without bathing nor brushing their teeth yet still manage to say things like "her mouth tasted just as sweet as he remembered." If only real life were as hygienic as a Harlequin novel. One of the reasons why Harlequin is able to sell over 100 million units per year (the most profitable publishing company in the industry) is because every book is part of a series. There are no individual Harlequin titles, which brilliantly leaves the reader yearning for more from the characters they have literally become so intimate with. In this respect, Butterfly Swords concludes with a wide opening that screams sequel, but thankfully lacks the typical Harlequin-happy ending of matrimonial bliss. One familiar with Chinese culture can't help but wonder, then, what kind of future Ai Li and Ryam actually have together: in reality, Ai Li would put on weight, cut her hair short and become a shrill nag; her parents and grandparents would all move into their cramped apartment, and a frustrated Ryam, now with beer-belly, would spend more and more time at card games and with karaoke parlor hostesses than at home. But before the infuriating realties of interracial marriage set in, we hope Jeannie Lin has at least a few more of her trade-mark sword fights and steamy sensuality in store. ### Tom Carter is the author of CHINA: Portrait of a People
  • (4/5)
    Ai Li is the number six child of the family Chang during the Tang Dynasty. Trained in the ancient art of butterfly swords by her grandmother, she is no meek woman, she is a warrior. As with most women of the time she is sent off to be married to Li Tao, to help cement relations between their lands. Ai Li learns of her intendeds duplicity as well as his involvement in the death of her brother and realizes that he is a traitor. She takes the advice of an old lieutenant, Wu, dresses as a young lad and escapes her promised husband in order to warn her father of his treachery.Ai Li is a strong and independent woman, but is also very respectful of her parents and their traditions. While she does not want to marry a man she does not know, she follows her family’s wishes.When she escapes, she knowingly breaks tradition, but feels that her family would understand when they learn of Li Taos part in the death of her number four brother. It is during this juncture that she meets Ryam a barbarian from another country. She is kind to a stranger when she could just ignore him; she does not treat him as most foreigners are treated. She is a mix of strength and femininity with a very good heart.Ryam is trying to forget his part in the death of his comrades. He is in a strange land with nothing but his sword and his wits to protect him. When he first spots Ai Li, she is dressed as a young man. He sees through her disguise immediately and is amused that she seems to be pulling it off. He gets involved when Ai Li is being attacked, where he then becomes her one man rescue. Not that she is not capable and very deadly with her butterfly swords as he sees for himself. He is fascinated by the contrast between the purity of her womanliness and the strength of her skills with the swords.As Ryam agrees to stay with her till she gets home to Changan, they run into many serious satiations where each is required to draw on their deepest internal spirit to get them through. They are being pursued by Ai Li’s bridegroom, Li Taos, who will not allow himself to lose face by her desertion. As a consequence of them traveling together, they begin to learn about each other as well as develop a trust based of mutual respect. What neither of them anticipates is the attraction, which is there right from the beginning. On Ryam’s part this attraction is visceral and raw; he is hard put to keep himself away from her. The glances cause heat and you can feel his tension and his urgency. Since he has made himself her protector, he continues to try to protect her against himself. Ai Li also feels the attraction but is very aware of the situation she is in. She is still betrothed to another man, and while she at least hopes her family will understand why she has left and possibly caused them embarrassment, she is also even more aware of his foreignness and how it will be accepted by her family. Every touch, every look, between the two of them has you yearning for more. There must be a way for them to be together, as their tension strains at the very bond that holds them together.This is a wonderful story of family and how they come together; it is about learning to trust yourself as well as those around you. Jeannie Lin brings the time and place together in such an amazing way, almost as though you were watching it through the words. This is a brutal time and place in history but also a time of the most famous of love stories, the most beautiful poetry and the most exquisite fashion . She has brought us to a place in history and brought it to life; she has allowed us to see what many have never had a glimpse of. The story was well told, the romance bold but sweet, and the characters were exactly what was needed to bring it all together. There were a few times in the story where it bogged down a bit, causing it to lose momentum, but over all, it was a wonderful read.SummaryAi Li has escaped her intended husband in order to inform her father of his treachery as well as his involvement in the death of her brother. She has not gotten very far before her would be rescuers decide to become her captors. Ryam is unwittingly drawn into this by the kindness that she has shown him. When he saves her, only to be saved by her in return, they become traveling companions as she races to reach her father. They are pursued by her intended Li Tao, and run into danger and excitement at every turn. Ai Li is well trained in the ancient art of Butterfly Swords by her Grandmother, unbeknownst by her mother. This is not what well bread young women do. They are obedient and follow their father’s wishes. Ai Li is a mixture of amazing strength as well as a source of innocence. Ryam is a barbarian in a land of refinement. They are meant to be together, but they may be in the wrong time and the wrong place. Butterfly Swords is a fast paced and energetic book with wonderful characters. Will they be able to break the bonds of obedience, and what will happen to their forbidden love?This book is a free ARC ebook received from Net Galley. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.
  • (4/5)
    The setting is China during the Tang dynasty. When noblewoman Chang Ai Li (Ailey) discovers on her wedding journey that her betrothed is responsible for killing her brother in an attempt to gain political power, she escapes and flees toward Changam (Xi’an) to warn her family of his betrayal. Before she makes it very far, she finds herself attacked by bandits and rescued by Ryam, a down-on-his-luck barbarian mercenary from somewhere in Europe. I thought the use of historical elements was nicely done. It added context and depth to the story, but didn’t take over the romance between Ailey and Ryam. (I would have liked a map of the region included, but I freely admit to being a nerd.) The characters Ailey and Ryam are sincere and occasionally funny, and their romance – which both know is forbidden – is a believable mix of sweetness and angst.I received an electronic ARC of this book through NetGalley.