Dragonfly Warrior by Jay Noel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Nation of Nihon is preparing itself for war with the Iberian Empire. The Iberians have advanced weaponry that few could hope to match. In order to survive, Nihon is attempting to unify the feuding states on its continent. King Hideaki sends his son, the warrior Prince Zenjiro, on a quest to find a legendary blade that's key to uniting the remaining states in rebellion.
Dragonfly Warrior was a mixed bag. The story was solid as Zen enters the world and immediately started doing good deeds that he believed were leading him to his goal. Things went overly smoothly. Despite Zen's internal war with doubt, he seemed not to make any mistakes. All his actions are extremely virtuous for a warrior.
My biggest complaint was the casual use of point of view characters. Perhaps it's just me, but I feel as though once point of view characters are established that it's key to stick with them. Dragonfly Warrior made use of many point of view characters from the obvious like Zen to the mostly insignificant like Cheng. The strange part is that new point of view characters were added all throughout the tale. The story seemed intent on showing each point of view in detail to the point there were few surprises to be had. I would have largely preferred the story to be told by Zen, Enapay, and Neva which would have allowed things to be discovered at a natural pace. The vast use of point of view characters made the story pacing seem slow and the book seem longer than it actually was, in a bad way.
One aspect I particularly enjoyed was Zen's special ability Ishen. It seemed to be a sort of concentrated ability that made me think of Goku's Kaioken and Naruto's Sage Mode. Once Zen enters this state he becomes significantly stronger and faster. The description of it's use were particularly strong.
In the end Dragonfly Warrior was a solid story. I'm not sure I care to continue the series at this point though.
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