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Historical Fantasy Romance YA Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas (The Heart of Blade Duology #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
In the waning days of the last dynasty, in a quiet, beautiful corner of imperial Peking, a young girl's blissful ignorance is shattered when she learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan. What future is there for such a girl? But a mysterious figure steps forward and offers to instruct her in the highest forms of martial arts--a path to a life of strength and independence.

Half a world away in England, a young boy's idyllic summer on the Sussex downs implodes with the firing of a single bullet. Torn from his family, he becomes the hostage of a urbanely sadistic uncle. He dreams of escaping to find his beloved friend--but the friend is in China, ten thousand miles away.

The girl trains to be deadly. The boy flees across continents. They do not know it yet, but their lives are already inextricably bound together, and will collide one fateful night when they least expect it.

'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' meets 'Downton Abbey,' this remarkable tale of friendship, danger, and coming of age will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.

A prequel to MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository  

9/10

* * *
*SLIGHT SPOILERS*

For those of you who have been a fan of Sherry Thomas's historical romances and for those of you who love her for her YA fantasy this is the best of both worlds.


The Hidden Blade is a YA historical adventure spread across England and China, and it's gorgeous! On one side there is a quiet British boy, Leighton Atwood, whose dad commits suicide shamed and blackmailed for his love of another man, Herb. Leighton is suddenly taken away from a loving, carefree family and put into care of his unbending, fanatical, sadistic, horrid uncle and he has to struggle for every ounce of freedom until finally he runs away in search of Herb.

On another side of the world there is Ying-Ying, a young girl who grows up in the shadow of her beautiful mother, - a long-standing, beloved concubine of  Da-ren, a powerful government official of China. Ying-Ying is a half-breed, and doesn't feel like she belongs, so when her mom dies, she is taken into care of her Amah (nanny) and discovers that the woman is not who she seems. Amah is a part of ancient military order, and Ying-Ying becomes her new recruit.

Ironically the only thing that connects Leighton and Ying-Ying - two such different characters, is Herb. Among all the heartbreak and adventure, he is the one Leighton seeks, and the one who ends up teaching Ying-Ying English. Read for yourself about their dramatic journeys in between...

This was a fantastic, absorbing, heartbreaking read, and I wholly recommend it. My Beautiful Enemy finishes Leighton and Ying-Ying's story years later, and I recommend you to grab it and read it straight away after The Hidden Blade.


* * *
Для тех из вас, кто любит Шерри Томас за её исторические романы и для тех, кто знает её подростковое фэнтези, это лучшая подборка двух миров: исторический, приключенческий роман для подростков, растягивающийся между Англией и Китаем.

По одну сторону океанов живёт английский мальчик Лейтон Атвуд. Детство у него счастливое, однако трагическое самоубийство отца, к которому того привёл шантаж со стороны старшего брата кардинально его меняет. Лейтона забирает к себе фанатичный садист дядя, и теперь ему придётся бороться за каждую крупицу свободы пока он не найдёт как ему сбежать и отпрвиться в поиски лучшего друга отца, Герба.

По другую сторону океанов живёт полукровка китаянка Йинг-Йинг, дочка любимой наложницы Да-рена, влиятельного чиновника Поднебесной. Когда её мать умирает, заботу о ней принимает на себя её няня, Ама. Только Ама - не простая женщина, а воин древнего секретного ордена, и она делает Йинг-Йинг своей ученицей.

Непростыми хитрослетениями судьбы жизни Лейтона и Йинг-Йинг пересекаются благодаря Гербу, а как и что происходит дальше лучше читать вам самим. Написано превосходно, читается на лету. Вторая книга серии рассказывает об этой паре годы спустя, и не менее прекрасна. Настоятельно рекомендую, читайте!
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