Saturday, 2 June 2018

Blog Tour + Characters as Dancers: The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Hey guys! I'm so excited to share the blog tour for The Bird and the Blade with you all today! Blog tour is hosted by Fantastic Flying Book ClubThe Bird and the Blade is a Young Adult book by debut author Megan Bannen. It's a retelling of the Opera Turandot, and an amazing read. Keep reading for my creative post (the characters as dancers), my review of the book, and a giveaway!

Title: The Bird and the Blade
Author: Megan Bannen
My rating: 4 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
SynopsisAs a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of ... even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan Bannen. (synopsis from Goodreads)

Book links:

Characters as Dancers 
My second biggest hobby (after reading) is dancing. I’ve danced a lot of different kinds, and it’s one of my big passions, so I thought I’d write a post about what dances the characters from The Bird and the Blade would dance, if they were dancers. 

Jinghua isn’t the most confident person, she’s caring and compassionate, and she often lets her heart make the decisions. She also loves music. I had a lot of trouble picking a dance for her, but I finally decided on disco. Disco is a fast and energetic dance, and the reason I picked this dance for Jinghua is because I think it could really help bring her out of her shell. It would help with her confidence, because in disco, you have to give it your all, there’s no going half-way.

It only took me a few chapters to decide what Khalaf should dance. He’s not afraid of showing emotion, he’s really sweet and caring and open, so I think he would be a great contemporary dancer. The most important thing in contemporary is showing the right emotion, it’s very important in order to make it believable. It’s a dance that can be very different, depending on the music – it can be slow or fast, tranquil or turbulent, but it’s always, always filled with emotion. And Khalaf is not only emotional, and not afraid to show it, but he also has those contradictions. He can be really sweet, but in battle, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Timur was also pretty easy to decide on. He’s Khalaf’s father, and the khan of the Kipchak Khanate. He’s very authoritative, and intense, and he’s really grumpy. He’s also very masculine. So I think paso doble would be the perfect dance for him. Paso doble is a Latin ballroom dance. Since the man is supposed to be a matador, it really requires him to be able to lead, and I think the role would fit Timur.

Turandokht is very elegant, cool and collected. She’s also very intelligent and won’t settle – she wants the best for herself. For Turandokht, I thought a classical and elegant dance would be perfect, so I finally decided on the waltz. And the waltz is more than just what you dance at a wedding. It’s a ballroom dance, very elegant and collected.
When I first heard about this book, I was super excited to read it. It sounded unique and really interesting and fun, so I immediately added it to my TBR. And it was just as great and awesome as I’d expected and more. I really loved Jinghua, not to mention Khalaf, and the plot was really exciting and interesting. The only thing bringing my rating down a bit is that it was a bit slow-paced. But overall, it was an incredible read!

Jinghua was such an interesting character. The character development in this book was amazing, you guys. Jinghua grows so much through the book, and honestly, I loved seeing her grow and learn from her mistakes. And I’m seriously in love with Khalaf. I can’t resist a smart boy, okay? And Khalaf is super smart and sweet and caring and selfless, and honestly, why can’t I have my own Khalaf? Honestly, the characters were my favourite thing about this book. They all grew a lot, and I liked that they weren’t simply good or bad, and things weren’t black or white.

The plot was really original. I can’t say how good it was as a retelling, because I haven’t seen Turandot, but as a book, I thought it was definitely unique. It was nothing like anything I’ve read before, and it was really interesting. And I loved the political intrigue and the exciting action. It was a bit slow-paced, but otherwise, it was honestly amazing. 

The settings were also amazing, and made the book so much better. It was beautiful and really well-done and well-written and really added to the whole atmosphere and plot. I loved seeing all the different places and learning more about the place.

I’m actually proud of myself for being able to write this coherent review so far, because The Bird and the Blade absolutely stomped on my heart and then tore it out of my chest and ripped it apart. My feelings are shredded. I’m a mess. This book broke my apart and healed me again, only to break me even worse. Or, as Timur would say, it plunged its’ hand into my chest cavity, wrenched my organs from my body and took a bite out of my still-beating heart before my very eyes.

If you like political intrigue and having your heart shattered into a million pieces, this is the book for you. If you like adventure, and excitement, and emotion, then you need to read The Bird and the Blade. And if you’re looking for something unique and original and heartbreaking, this is a must-read.
Megan Bannen is a librarian and the author of THE BIRD AND THE BLADE. In her spare time, she collects graduate degrees from Kansas colleges and universities. While most of her professional career has been spent in public libraries, she has also sold luggage, written grants, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, their two sons, and a few too many pets with literary names.

Author links:

Tour schedule

May 30th

Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post

May 31st

Vicky Who Reads- Guest Post & Mood Board

June 1st

A New Look On Books- Guest Post

June 2nd

The Reading Faery- Creative Option
Velvet Spade Reads- Review & Favorite Quotes
The Book Nut- Review

June 3rd

June 4th

Dazzled by Books- Creative Post

June 5th

Utopia State of Mind- Review & Favorite Quotes
sons, and a few too many pets with literary
names. She can
found online
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This post is SO cool!!! One of my favorites that we've ever had for a creative post. I love dance and I love YA, so combining them is a big YES for me. I love all the dances you came up with for the characters, and they all fit the characters so well :)

    Thanks for being on the tour!!

    1. I love dancing as well, and I wanted to find a way to fit that into my blog, so I was excited to try this new idea I had. I'm glad you liked it!


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I receive some books from authors, publishers and third party sites (such as Netgalley). This does in no way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed on this blog are unbiased and my own. I do not get compensated in any way or form.