“When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?”Song: Reflection, Mulan
I received a finished copy of this book from @scholastic_au in exchange for my honest review.
The book begins during the battle between Shan Yu, The Huns and Captain Shang’s regiment, as in the movie Mulan (aka Ping) redirects the last rocket so that it hits a cliff and stops the Hun from attacking. However, in this book, instead of Mulan herself being injured, Captain Shang is mortally injured. Mulan must travel to the underworld in order to save the Captain’s life.
“Her sword weighed heavily in her hand. She stared at the polished blade, wondering if its reflection would be the last sight she ever caught of herself.”– pg. 4 Reflection, Elizabeth Lim
Because Mulan isn’t the one who is injured in the battle against the Huns, she is still not exposed as a woman and so the story follows her still pretending to be Ping, a male soldier.
There is a strong sense of lost identity for Mulan throughout this reimagining, I adore how introspective she is as a character.
“The demon sentries were too busy keeping order in the line to acknowledge her: ghosts were gossipy, and prone to getting into fights with one another, Mulan noted. Maybe it was because they were bored.”– pg. 71 Reflection, Elizabeth Lim
Her journey through Diyu was at times very sinister and dark in themes. But her encounters also felt a lot like Alice in Wonderland and The Labrynth, with many odd ball characters interacting with Mulan and ShiShi as they ventured further into the underworld.
Overall I found this to be one of the more intriguing Disney reimaginings in this Twisted Tale series, I enjoyed the personality of the storytelling that Elizabeth Lim has intertwined throughout this book. Although I do think it could have been a little bit shorter, I did really enjoy reading about Mulan going through the trials in the Diyu. I would recommend this to kids that have explored what Disney has to offer for the story of Mulan and are looking for more.