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Brazen (The Gilded Series) by Christina…
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Brazen (The Gilded Series)

by Christina Farley

Series: Gilded (3)

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261611,358 (3.75)2

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I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Upon discovering that it was #3 in a series, I immediately set it aside while I read #1 and #2 ([b:Gilded|16173250|Gilded (Gilded, #1)|Christina Farley|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389114413s/16173250.jpg|22021614] and [b:Silvern|20648285|Silvern (Gilded #2)|Christina Farley|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403794736s/20648285.jpg|39942000], respectively).

The overall impact of the series is excellent. This ticks a number of boxes for me that are not often ticked. For example, it's no secret that I enjoy strong female heroines, and so I tend to read a lot of books that check that box. But even within that category, I don't often find a female that is particularly physically strong, let alone such a skilled fighter (in this case, a tae kwan do black belt) that she holds her own in fights. In fact, we can go one step further: freuqently the male characters stand in the background and watch her fight, which is a nice role-reversal. Jae, the female protagonist, worries an awful lot about needing to (physically) protect her boyfriend and her family, again a traditionally masculine concern.

And in the world of YA female-centered fantasy, I think it's also pretty unusual to get a lot of history lessons. The Hunger Games may have made us reflect somewhat on the effects of war on children, but Panem didn't have any direct correlation to current events, and the history of tributes didn't have its roots in an actual country's mythology. So one of the things I appreciated most about this series was its constant reference to Korean mythology, a subject about which I was entirely ignorant when I began. On top of that, the mythological world is tied directly to modern-day Korea, with the gods' actions in the Spirit World having direct impacts in the real world. I loved seeing the North Korea/South Korea dichotomy explored that way.

Best of all, I think #3 is actually the best book of the three. Farley really got a handle on the cast of characters, and then stretched herself by briefly involving the deities and history of China as a contrast. The educational aspect, though, never overshadows the plot-driven world-building that keeps you glued to the page. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
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When she is sent to steal the Black Turtle orb, Jae sees an opportunity to break free and defeat Kud, but first she must regain Marc's trust and convince him to work with her to vanquish the darkness that threatens to overwhelm Korea.

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