Zhànshì by Anna Edwards

May 26, 2020

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
-- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

-- Synopsis --

Zhanshi by Anna Edwards
Lia has known she was different since the age of five when her father taught her the skills of her ancestors. His stories of heroic exploits have fueled her fantasies for years. Little did she know that her expertise would be called upon when two cities, two triads, go to war. Will it be a step too far to think she can hide who she really is?

Jaxon has known his career path since he was a little boy when his father promised his only son to the leader of the Yu Shi triad. Jaxon doesn’t mind—it allows him to center his chaotic thoughts and fight his opponents to the death. But when he’s partnered with a mysterious new recruit, he begins to question everything he knows. What is the young boy hiding from him?

Zhanzhi is a modern day retelling of the tale of Mulan for the Sinister Fairytales Collection. Warrior Lia must find her inner strength to defeat a deadly enemy, who’s been left bitter by his quest for absolute power, while at the same time falling in love when she least expects it. Nothing will be as it seems in this dark triad world where a moment’s hesitation can be your downfall.

-- My Two Cents --

Mulan happens to be one of my family's favorite Disney movies. We know all the songs by heart and can recite quite a bit of the script too. So I was beyond happy to find a dark retelling of that particular story. In Zhànshì, Lia always knew that she was destined for a life far different than what her parents imagined. They wanted her to be the perfect lady, content with being a housewife to whoever ended up being her husband. However, Lia was a skilled warrior and she knew that she was meant to fight. When the war between the Triads really heats up, a mandate goes out that the eldest male in the family must join the battle. Lia's father had already done his time and came home with an injury and yet he was still willing to go. Lia wasn't having it and came up with her own plan to go in his place.

Jaxon was taken in by the Yu Shi triad when he was small. When the order goes out, he's the one in charge of training the men. There was something about Zhàn that wasn't quite right. Why does he feel an attraction for him? Despite his misgivings, Jaxon realizes that Zhàn may be the difference between triumph and defeat. When Lia's truth comes out, it introduces a horror show but also unleashes a destiny. These lovers were so strong together and I think the author did a great job of bringing this modernized version of a classic to life. The villain was truly villainous and the heroes weren't exactly pure, but they were in the right. I only wish the major story, the actual love story, got more time.

-- Purchase Links --

-- About Anna Edwards --

Anna Edwards
I am a British author, from the depths of the rural countryside near London. In a previous life, I was an accountant from the age of twenty-one. I still do that on occasions, but most of my life is now spent intermingling writing while looking after my husband, two children and two cats (probably in the inverse order to the one listed!). When I have some spare time, I can also be found writing poetry, baking cakes (and eating them), or behind a camera snapping like a mad paparazzo.

I'm an avid reader who turned to writing to combat my depression and anxiety. I have a love of traveling and like to bring this to my stories to give them an air of reality.

I like my heroes hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, my heroines demure but with spunk, and my books full of dramatic suspense.

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