The Night Ends with Fire (The Night Ends with Fire #1)

K.X. Song

Adult Historical Fantasy

Infused with magic and romance, this sweeping fantasy adventure inspired by the legend of Mulan follows a young woman determined to choose her own destiny—even if that means going against everyone she loves.

The Three Kingdoms are at war, but Meilin’s father refuses to answer the imperial draft. Trapped by his opium addiction, he plans to sell Meilin for her dowry. But when Meilin discovers her husband-to-be is another violent, ill-tempered man, she realizes that nothing will change for her unless she takes matters into her own hands.

The very next day, she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in her father’s place.

In the army, Meilin’s relentless hard work brings her recognition, friendship—and a growing closeness with Sky, a prince turned training partner. But has she simply exchanged one prison for another? As her kingdom barrels toward destruction, Meilin begins to have visions of a sea dragon spirit that offers her true power and freedom, but with a deadly price.

With the future of the Three Kingdoms hanging in the balance, Meilin will need to decide whom to trust—Sky, who inspires her loyalty and love; the sea dragon spirit, who has his own murky agenda; or an infuriating enemy prince who makes her question everything she once knew—about her kingdom and about her own heart.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) Look at that cover! I’m in love. When I found this was a story about Mulan, I had to grab it, it is one of my favorite Disney movies. While I know she is a fictional character in Chinese legend, I adore the fact that she was created to show the strength women have in many ways.

I think I love Meilin (this book’s version of Mulan) even more than any others. She had a strength that was admirable combined with a personality that was easy to relate to.

I love a book about a strong female character fighting against a future others have chosen for her. Meilin fought hard against a marriage to a violent man when she was just hoping to get away from her violent father. This is a turning point for her. She makes the decision to determine her own fate and while she was able to get away from her father and betrothed, there is so much more that will continue to stand in her way.

“He thought I didn’t belong here. The only difference was I knew I didn’t belong here so now I had to prove both of us wrong.”

That quote! Yes! She continues again and again to determine her own fate. As she enters the military, that meant extra hours training. But in others ways, finding truth in what she’s always been told, she let her heart lead her. With war getting closer, her decisions take on more weight and the sea dragon spirit inside her pushes for more.

The magic within Meilin was a interesting addition. A piece of jade made it so she could use compulsion and elemental magic while the sea dragon guided her. Throughout the story was always the thought of what is the best choice for her, and she learns the hard way who she can trust, even with her magic.

The interesting part of the story is that it wasn’t a happy ending. This was a surprise but almost better because it was more realistic. As the author notes, “What does our ambition cost us?” In Mulan tales she rarely gets the ending she wants. In life too, there is more to life than a few actions to ensure our “happy ending.” That ending definitely solidified my interest in the story and what is more to come!

AUDIO REVIEW: Natalie Naudus had a voice that demonstrated Meilin perfectly. She could embody determination and frustration at the exact intensities needed. Meilin changed from an oppressed woman with a dream to one that tests the boundaries of this life. The narrator changed her voice as needed for the perfect accompaniment to the story.

General content summary: 

Little to no language 

Drugs (Opium addiction)

Alcohol (multiple)

Sedative given unwillingly 

Parent death (previous, heart problems, drowning and some body details)

Many women died from consumption 

Arranged marriages 

Misogyny (multiple)

Physical child abuse (slap which caused bruising, suggestion of more)

Physical violence (against servent, hit and choke multiple, tied up for punishment, whipping, weapon fighting, explosion, knife injuries, biting, burns, multiple)

Torture (legs twisting with some details)

Killing (weapon, few details, drowning, beheading, stabbings, poison)

Suicide contemplation 

Many being imprisoned 


Corpse (no details)

Rape (vague, previous)

Attempted rape (brief)

Battle (arrows, blood, death, drowning and near drowning, fire, some details, beheading)

Vision of family member and kids in fire and one being stabbed (some dead)

Captivity (tied up)

Person is demanded to undress and seen naked

A mother is killed and beheaded in front of her child (previous)

M/F kiss and some foreplay (some details)

Courtesans (scene with some nakedness, intent for intimacy, some details)

**Any quotes have been taken from the advance readers copy and may or may not be in the final, published copy.

Thank you to PRH Audio, Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for the copies!

The book releases July 2, 2024.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.