Review: Fallen Hero by Katie Zhao

The Fallen Hero by Katie Zhao

Fallen Hero (Dragon Warrior #2)
Katie Zhao
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published October 6, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About Fallen Hero

Faryn Liu thought she was the Heaven Breaker, a warrior destined to wield the all-powerful spear Fenghuang, command dragons, and defeat demons. But a conniving goddess was manipulating her all along…and her beloved younger brother, Alex, has betrayed her and taken over as the Heaven Breaker instead. Alex never forgave the people who treated him and Faryn like outcasts, and now he wants to wipe out both the demons and most of humanity.

Determined to prevent a war and bring Alex back to her side, Faryn and her half-dragon friend Ren join the New Order, a group of warriors based out of Manhattan’s Chinatown. She learns that one weapon can stand against Fenghuang–the Ruyi Jingu Bang. Only problem? It belongs to an infamous trickster, the Monkey King.

Faryn sets off on a daring quest to convince the Monkey King to join forces with her, one that will take her to new places–including Diyu, otherwise known as the Underworld–where she’ll run into new dangers and more than one familiar face. Can she complete her mission and save the brother she loves, no matter the cost?

My Review

Faryn is every bit as funny and full of heart in FALLEN HERO as she was in THE DRAGON WARRIOR. I loved her relationships with the other characters, especially her relationship with Ren, which is so sweet.

I think I read this book faster than the first one, too. The quest to find the Ruyi Jingu Bang takes Faryn and her allies all over the place. Again the story leads her to lean on her connection to her family and her ancestors. I love that it celebrates the bond between generations.

I know almost nothing about Chinese mythology, so I enjoyed learning a bit and seeing the different gods and goddesses portrayed in the story. It reminded me a bit of the Percy Jackson books in that it has gods and goddesses in a contemporary world. These books might be best read by readers a little younger, but I think they’re every bit as entertaining and fun.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Most Characters are Chinese American.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
A boy and girl hold hands for a moment.

Spiritual Content
Gods and goddesses from Chinese mythology battle one another, care for Diyu (the Underworld) and rule from Heaven. Some have powerful weapons. A boy can transform into a dragon. Two children learn that their father is a Demon King in Diyu. The spirits of the dead offer aid and are more powerful than usual because of the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Violent Content
Some situations of peril and battle violence (no gory details).

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of FALLEN HERO in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.

About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.