Today’s review is on Reflection, a Disney Twisted Tale about Fa Mulan and Li Shang. Much like Once Upon a Dream, this Twisted Tale was also about self-discovery and identity, though with the added threat of honour gained or lost.

            Mulan must travel through Diyu, the underworld, to save Shang’s soul and bring him back to life before the dawn breaks and he dies forever, and King Yama traps Mulan within Diyu for eternity. Diyu is a vibrant and ever-shifting world brought to life by the descriptions of the settings and strange characters that live there.

            This plot reminded me of one of the last tasks in Disney’s animated Hercules. It’s an old enough movie that I don’t feel like I’m spoiling by talking about it, but if you haven’t seen it, you should anyway. Hercules must go rescue Megara’s soul from Hades before she’s swallowed up by the underworld and dies for good. Though it’s much quicker in Hercules, the danger is the same: fail, and you spend eternity in the underworld with the person you tried to save. Mulan must travel further and overcome more obstacles, and I enjoyed this extended journey much more than the small glimpse it felt like in Hercules.

            Mulan is one of my favourite Disney movies. My sister and I grew up watching it over and over. I wish the relationship between Mulan and Shang had been more developed (yes; it’s a kid’s show. I wanted a more adult version). Reflection delivered on that deeper connection because it gave Mulan and Shang time to get to know each other. It was a more natural way to fall in love.

            I recommend this book to everyone age 13 and up who is a fan of Mulan, Disney, or any kind of mythology. The journey through Diyu touches on a lot of myths and legends before bringing them to life. This was a good feminist story because of the topics brought up and that the characters discussed them in a way that wasn’t pushy or over-the-top.

            I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. Something was missing towards the end–like it was missing a chapter. Despite that, it wasn’t an unsatisfying ending. Overall, I enjoyed this book and its adventure.



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