🎧 The Night Ends with Fire by KX Song #KXSong @natalienaudus @AceRocBooks @PRHAudio @BerkleyPub #LoveAudiobooks

Posted July 4, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 13 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


🎧 The Night Ends with Fire by KX Song #KXSong @natalienaudus @AceRocBooks @PRHAudio @BerkleyPub #LoveAudiobooksThe Night Ends with Fire by KX Song
Narrator: Natalie Naudus
Series: The Night Ends with Fire #1
Published by Ace, Penguin Audio on July 2, 2024
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
Length: 12 hours, 36 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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one-half-flames
One StarOne StarOne Star

The Three Kingdoms are at war, but Meilin’s father refuses to answer the imperial draft. Trapped by his opium addiction, he plans to sell Meilin for her dowry. But when Meilin discovers her husband-to-be is another violent, ill-tempered man, she realizes that nothing will change for her unless she takes matters into her own hands. The very next day, she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in her father’s place.

In the army, Meilin's relentless hard work brings her recognition, friendship—and a growing closeness with Sky, a prince turned training partner. But has she simply exchanged one prison for another? As her kingdom barrels toward destruction, Meilin begins to have visions of a sea dragon spirit that offers her true power and freedom, but with a deadly price. With the future of the Three Kingdoms hanging in the balance, Meilin will need to decide whom to trust—Sky, who inspires her loyalty and love; the sea dragon spirit, who has his own murky agenda; or an infuriating enemy prince who makes her question everything she once knew—about her kingdom and about her own heart.

Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies so I looked forward to this retelling.  Be forewarned The Night Ends with Fire is not the feel good version.

The basics of the plot are similar.  The details are much grittier and more misogynistic.  This time period allows women nothing.   Meilin is to be married off to an old abusive man (whose previous wives have all died) so her dowry can feed her father’s debts from opium addiction and gambling.  She goes off as a boy to fight in the war. She worries about the fate of her stepmother and younger siblings, both from her father and the war.

The plot is so drawn out and rambling.  They are training, then traveling or fighting.  The communications are limited in these days.  So it feels like they stumble around.   Meilin does make significant contributions to the war effort.  She doesn’t really understand the politics or consequences, so since we are getting her point of view, that may be why things are so disconnected.

As a fantasy tale, there is magic involved. Some individuals possess elemental magic, considered black magic.  Meilin has a connection with water.  She spends much of the book trying to decide if she can have power or freedom for her self.  She also has multiple romantic interests with the Prince, the opposing Prince and sort of, the fire wielder, who works for the opposing Prince.   I’m not a fan of this wishy-washy feelings for various men, although it may be she had some Stockholm Syndrome while captured.

I’m glad this is a series because I found the ending conclusive but dismal.

 

Narration:

I enjoyed the narration and it enhanced my enjoyment of the story.  In the war intelligence gathering, there was mention of accents and dialects, but I didn’t really get that from the voices.  I liked how the narration let me stay in the story.  I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.

Listen to a clip: HERE

 

Rating Breakdown
Plot
One StarOne StarOne Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne Star
Characters
One StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne Star
Anne - Books of My Heart
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted July 4, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 13 Comments


13 responses to “🎧 The Night Ends with Fire by KX Song

  1. Penguin just sent me a copy of this one (I didn’t request it) and I love the idea, but I haven’t heard many good things. Maybe I will wait until the next book is out to make a decision.

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