Official Review: The Dragon Sisters by Claire Youmans

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Momiji1987
Posts: 843
Joined: 26 Jun 2015, 01:22
2019 Reading Goal: 300
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 7
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 191
Favorite Author: Jordan David
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 383
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-momiji1987.html
Latest Review: The Animal Connection by Heather Brooks
fav_author_id: 64963

Official Review: The Dragon Sisters by Claire Youmans

Post by Momiji1987 » 30 Aug 2019, 20:36

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Dragon Sisters" by Claire Youmans.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


The Dragon Sisters by Claire Youmans is the sixth book in The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow Boy Series. Renko is a dragon with a half-human nature, struggling to find her place in the world. She’s found a home to explore her duality with the Toki-girl and the sparrow boy, two children like herself that turn into birds. Meanwhile, her dragon half-sister, Otohime, is being pressured by Renko’s mother to find a consort. Along the way, Yuta and Noriko, who care for these special children, learn that a group of girls they saved from indentured servitude are in danger of joining an overseas brothel to support themselves. Can they save the girls before it’s too late?

I’ve seen several of these books and was always interested in reading them because I find Japanese culture fascinating. These books are set during the Meiji era and incorporate history and Japanese folklore into the story. The most beneficial aspect of these books is the historicity of the story. I learned several things about the time period I would not have known before, particularly about how girls who had been “sold” into factories by their poor families struggled to survive. The author clearly explains the clothing, attitudes, and culture of the people which was very detailed and enjoyable to learn about.

Where the author struggles a bit for me, is in the actual storytelling. The world is rich and the characters are interesting, but I found most of them to be described as very blank and two-dimensional. I don’t know if this is because aspects of their personality had already been explored in previous books, or if it was just the writing style in general, but rarely were the faces or tone of voice described to the reader, which, for me, made the story difficult to remain interested in. Feelings were rarely invoked and much of the emotional and personal details were left for readers to fill in, which made this book a challenge for me to continue reading at times, despite my interest in the subject.

The book might have been easier to enjoy if more drawings of the characters had been included. The back of the book features an illustration of the main characters which was immensely helpful to me when it came to actually picturing them. Historical drawings are the main source of illustration for each chapter (which is great for learning more about the real Japan) but a few more drawings of the characters would have been more helpful in lieu of descriptions.

The writing was dry overall, which I found disappointing, so I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. The book is appropriate for kids and teens because there is nothing offensive about the story and the brothel aspect is not explicitly described at all. There were errors throughout the book, but I could tell it was professionally edited. I recommend the book to anyone interested in Japanese history and culture, especially fans of the series.

******
The Dragon Sisters
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords

User avatar
Michelle Fred
Posts: 328
Joined: 19 Mar 2019, 05:19
Favorite Book: Sugar & Spice
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-michelle-fred.html
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins

Post by Michelle Fred » 01 Sep 2019, 07:12

I like that the book is educative as well as entertaining. Japanese culture and history are interesting topics to learn.

User avatar
Samson1919
Posts: 3
Joined: 02 May 2019, 02:32
Currently Reading: Raptor
Bookshelf Size: 2

Post by Samson1919 » 01 Sep 2019, 10:58

Nice book because when you read the book you gonna get some new thing on your head and also it show the beauty of Japanese culture as well

User avatar
KDJ
Posts: 220
Joined: 16 Mar 2018, 14:39
2019 Reading Goal: 160
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Favorite Book: Elenor
Currently Reading: The Poison Profession
Bookshelf Size: 128
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdj.html
Latest Review: The Neigbour At Number 18 (Reload) by Hawa Crickmore

Post by KDJ » 01 Sep 2019, 13:07

Thank you for your review. I have not heard of this series, but it sounds interesting. I enjoy reading stories that include cultural and historical elements. I think I will pass on this one for now because of the lack of character descriptions. I have a good imagination but sometimes need it to be emersed in a story. Did you think book six could be read as a stand-alone or should readers start with book one of the series? :?:
He that loves reading has everything within his reach. —William Godwin

User avatar
reneelu1998
Posts: 173
Joined: 30 Mar 2019, 16:27
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 122
Favorite Book: The Outsiders
Currently Reading: The Great Dune Trilogy
Bookshelf Size: 90
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-reneelu1998.html
Latest Review: The Cult Next Door by Elizabeth R. Burchard, Judith L. Carlone
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by reneelu1998 » 01 Sep 2019, 17:13

Wow, there are a lot of books in this series. That's too bad about the poor writing. I feel like that sometimes happens in series; the writing goes downhill throughout the series. Thanks for the well-written review!

User avatar
Rachel Lea
Posts: 427
Joined: 25 Feb 2019, 19:29
Favorite Book: Beneath the Muscle
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 81
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rachel-lea.html
Latest Review: The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid

Post by Rachel Lea » 03 Sep 2019, 10:41

I'm also fascinated by stories that include Japanese culture and folklore, but it's unfortunate that the author's writing style came across as bland and dry. Thanks for your honest review!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one." -- George R.R. Martin :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
esp1975
Posts: 1501
Joined: 21 May 2019, 17:00
Favorite Book: Among Others
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 72
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-esp1975.html
Latest Review: Spellbound by Julia Goldhirsh

Post by esp1975 » 03 Sep 2019, 12:00

While the Japanese are famous for not showing their emotions, that does not mean they don't have them. It is too bad that author isn't more skilled at bringing character emotions into these books.

User avatar
Laila_Hashem
Posts: 210
Joined: 17 Jun 2019, 00:39
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 122
Currently Reading: Marbles
Bookshelf Size: 221
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laila-hashem.html
Latest Review: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi

Post by Laila_Hashem » 03 Sep 2019, 15:52

The idea behind this book seems quite unique, and it explores a topic I am not very knowledgeable about, which makes me more willing to read it. Great review!

User avatar
Momiji1987
Posts: 843
Joined: 26 Jun 2015, 01:22
2019 Reading Goal: 300
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 7
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 191
Favorite Author: Jordan David
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 383
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-momiji1987.html
Latest Review: The Animal Connection by Heather Brooks
fav_author_id: 64963

Post by Momiji1987 » 03 Sep 2019, 23:40

KDJ wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 13:07
Thank you for your review. I have not heard of this series, but it sounds interesting. I enjoy reading stories that include cultural and historical elements. I think I will pass on this one for now because of the lack of character descriptions. I have a good imagination but sometimes need it to be emersed in a story. Did you think book six could be read as a stand-alone or should readers start with book one of the series? :?:
I read the book as a stand-alone and didn’t have too much trouble with it as far as plot and storyline. Where it suffered for me was character, so I’m not sure if it was because I hadn’t read the prior books in the series (thus lacking the history I needed to care), or if the writing is just the author’s style, but it was hard for me to connect with them sometimes, even though I really wanted to. I guess the best judge would be yourself. Read a sample and then decide if you want to read the previous books first. If given a choice, I would probably try the first book just to see if the introduction of the characters is better than this book was at bringing them to life.

User avatar
Wyland
Posts: 629
Joined: 27 May 2019, 03:22
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 279
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-wyland.html
Latest Review: Beneath the Muscle by Lauren Powers

Post by Wyland » 06 Sep 2019, 08:15

I hope to read this to get some insights into the plight of these Japanese comfort girls. Thanks for your insightful review.

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”