Sunday, September 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey

Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" (Once Upon a Time)

Name: Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" (Once Upon a Time Fairy Tales)
Author: Cameron Dokey
Number of Pages: 224
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Dated Published: February 10th, 2009
Source: Review (Bought)
Rate: 3.5/5

Wielding a sword as deftly as an embroidery needle, Mulan is unlike any other girl in China. When the emperor summons a great army, each family must send a male to fight. Tomboyish Mulan is determined to spare her aging father and bring her family honor, so she disguises herself and answers the call.

But Mulan never expects to find a friend, let alone a soul mate, in the commander of her division, Prince Jian. For all of Mulan's courage with a bow and arrow, is she brave enough to share her true identity and feelings with Prince Jian?

Lately, as in for awhile now, I have noticed that all the old fairy tales are being retold in a darker and little bit more scary way. I am totally loving it!!! I love the old fairy tales and I love how they are spicing them up a bit. So when I came across the retelling of Mulan, my most favorite fairy tale ever told, I was all over it!!! I mean come on it is a girl that becomes a guy just to show that she is one bad-ass!

While I loved the idea the author was giving off, I really was not interested in this book what so ever. I mean it was good and all but I felt that it liked quite a bit. Like the story line, character development, and even the writing style was drooping - like ice cream on a hot day.

While the character development was not at it's peak, I truly did love Mulan. She was not hard as a rock but she was not soft either. Mulan has grown up with out her dad all her life since her mom passes away, giving her time to do whatever she wanted. Her bestfriend would teach her everything that was learned in his combat lessons. Although his mother did not approve of her at all, in fact she hated her guts.

The story does follow the movie a little bit, and the old story. She does run away to the army and meet the prince, although in the actual story I think he was a general. Yet there are a few more aspects that I wish the author would have explained. There were holes in the plot, like things were missing!!!

The romance was interesting to the say the least. She did fall instantly in love with the prince but was more his friend than anything. Obviously because she was a guy at the time...which he does not know.

While I liked the idea that was given, I wish the author would have done a lot more for the book. That was the only disappointing thing. I would recommend the book, but get it from the library or borrow from a friend rather than actually buying..but that is up to you!!! :)

Read On!!

xx Kat xx


  1. I am right there with you on loving the retelling of fairy tales! I hate that this book didn't work out for you =( I was reading the synopses and thinking wow this sounds GREAT so I am glad I read your review before I bought it. I do still want to give it a try so I think I will barrow it from the library. I like that you were honest and not pushing your readers to get the book but to barrow it instead. Great honest review =)

    1. Thanks Ashley!!! I think you should still read it, it was good just not what I expected :) I am glad that you liked the review. I do not ever want to push anyone to buy the book, and if they want to that is great! I hope that they make a retelling of Mulan into a movie. It would be so so good! I loved Snow White and the Huntsman...I know that Kristen Stewart was in it, but I loved it none the less :)

  2. Great review! Have you read Cameron Dokey's other books in the Once Upon a Time Fairy Tales series? My favorite was the Storyteller's Daughter, about Scheherazade. Usually I like her books, because she manages to write beautifully, but also have great characters and romance. I haven't read Wild Orchid...but I've read other reviews that say it's "meh" not sure if I want to read it. Lame, cause I really love the Mulan story, too! And stories in general that feature a girl disguising herself as a boy...I even did a whole Reading List on books that feature this trope! Check it out: here!

    1. I have not yet, but I actually do want to read them :) She does write beautifully and I love that she has decided to re-write the fairy tales!! Also I would not push the book to the side just because of a review, if you want to read it go for it ;) I will definitely check it out!!