I'm an avid reader, but it's pretty rare I'll review a book on my blog. Indeed, "The Warrior and the Flower" is only the second book I've reviewed here. So, you must know then that something special about this author caught my eye. But before we get into that, how about a look at the stunning cover and the book blurb?
The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott
Yi, a retired soldier, has lost everything he loves—his wife, his daughter, and his home. He seeks refuge from his heartache by plunging into a secret mission for the World Emperor. The assignment takes him to the doorstep of a brothel, where he witnesses the madam beating a young girl. Drawn by the child’s striking resemblance to his lost daughter, Yi rushes to her defense and negotiates for her purchase—after all, how hard can it be to care for one little girl? But between the child’s inquisitive nature and the dangerous secret she carries, he gets more than he bargained for.
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The Warrior & The Flower is the first book I've read by Camille Picott. And one I might not have picked up, if it wasn’t for her support of children’s education. Yes, that’s right, before I would crack open a book that deviated from my usual genres: urban fantasy, romance, political/spy thrillers and epic fantasy, I had to first become a Camille stalker.
And my-oh-my was I dedicated.
I combed the Internet looking for fractures in her ‘good gal’ armor…and low and behold, I couldn’t find any. Matter-of-fact, as a parent, I was completely enthralled by her dedication to teaching children about different cultures. So, I signed up for the blog tour and eagerly, if still not a bit skeptically, awaited my copy of The Warrior & The Flower.
A few days later, I received a link for an audio book. Yep, I was going to listen to this book on my morning trail runs. This was a safe plan because even if I didn’t like the book, I’d still get exercise, which for me, always equals a win.
The next morning I headed out, jacked up on coffee, ready to pound the trails and listen to a motivating book. Car parked, audio book rolling, I began my usual run.
“Hey, J.A., did you injure yourself?” asked another regular on the trail as he zoomed by me.
What the heck was he talking about? Then I understood. So captivated by the story and all its intricacies, in order to really listen, I had started walking, and I hadn’t even realized it.
5/5 -- I loved this book. The main characters were well developed and believable. That the author could climb into the minds of a child and an adult, and so accurately portray them both, impressed me beyond words. Heck, she wrote so well that, gasp, I even felt an emotional pull to the bad guys. Ms. Picott gave the antagonists the same depth she afforded the protagonists, layering their nasty deeds with inner conflict, a sign of a truly devoted author. Not to be outdone by her character building, Ms. Picott created an amazing fantasy world full of creativity that supported her characters, without distracting or confusing the reader.
If I had to hunt and peck for an improvement the author could make, it would be the pacing. There were times I hungered for more action and less dialogue. But those times were rare and far between.
Over all, this was an enjoyable read. Yes, you caught me; I did say ‘read’ when I’d told you I listened to the audio book. After that first failed run with my audio book, I turned to the Kindle version so I could devour the book from my comfy and worn armchair. This book was a fast, captivating and pleasurable read. I hope you give this talented author a try!
About the Author:
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. To visit Camille, go to www.camillepicott.com.
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This tour was organized and put together by CBB Book Promotions.