Are you excited for Disney’s remaking of Mulan? Based on a Chinese legend, find popular Mulan books as well as books if you like Mulan retellings. Find your inner warrior.
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Popular Mulan Books: Disney’s Retelling
With Disney’s live-action Mulan coming to the big screen in March 2020, are you feeling the Mulan craze? Who doesn’t love a story of a young feminist maiden totally kicking ass?
As the popular Disney Mulan plot showcases, the Emperor of China decrees that one male from each household must fight in the Imperial Army to protect the country from northern invaders. Mulan dons men’s traditional warrior clothing and fights in the war so that her sick father won’t have to. With Disney, there is triumph and romance.
The Real Story of Hua Mulan
Hua Mulan is a real person and Chinese legend. Disney’s Mulan isn’t very far from the mark. Mulan’s heroism is recorded in ancient texts and a folk song, known as the Ballad of Mulan. The details get a little iffy around here because this text no longer exists.
However, over the course of centuries, scholars, musicians, and historical novelists created Mulan retellings that helped shaped Disney’s Mulan today. The stories focus on Mulan as a brave hero and warrior who fought for years as a female soldier. Today, in Chinese culture, she is a symbol of hope and inspiration.
Popular Mulan Books & Books If You Like Mulan Retellings
I, for one, am stoked for the live-action Mulan movie. If you like Mulan retellings as much as I do, you will want to join in the craze and try these books similar to Mulan. These are popular Mulan books that I have read or would like to read to channel my inner warrior.
Popular Mulan Books: YA Mulan Retellings
If you are looking for popular Mulan books, you’ll love this Baltic Mulan retelling. The Warrior Maiden takes place in Poland and Lithuania. True to Disney’s Mulan, this strong lead dons her father’s clothing and heads off to fight against the Teutonic Knights.
Dickerson is infamous for her YA fairytale retellings, and The Warrior Maiden is no different except in its Christian overtones. However, Dickerson uses faith more as a powerful tool to build confidence and criticizes conservative religious condemnation. Find romance and a story where even the most closed-minded characters open up their hearts. Read TUL’s Full Review→
Flame In The Mist is one of many popular Mulan books that incorporates historical fantasy with feminism. Based in feudal Japan and like Mulan, Mariko feels powerless in her current role as the daughter of a samurai.
Forced into a marriage of convenience, Mariko must either sit back like Dickerson’s Mulan or fight back.
True to your classic Mulan retelling, Mariko dresses as a boy to fight against the gang who attempted to murder her. Read More→
“What happened if Mulan had to travel to the Underworld?” A Disney title, Reflection is a Mulan retelling with a twist.
Reflection is the fourth book in the Twisted series, which is known for flipping books around.
Like Mulan, find a battle against the Huns. Disguised as Ping, Captain Shang saves Mulan’s life. In effect, Shang is mortally wounded. Mulan must cross into the Underworld, Diyu, to find and save Shang’s soul before he’s trapped there forever. Read More→
Popular Mulan books like Wild Orchid all have that magical romance component. Who doesn’t want their fairytale retelling with some princessy love and a kickass woman? In this Mulan retelling, Dokey emphasizes those lustful and crush-like feelings that Mulan has for Prince Jian.
Set in China, Mulan meets her father, a soldier for the emperor who she hasn’t seen in years. Once again, as the Huns build their army, Mulan goes off to fight for her frail father. While battling traditional gender stereotypes, Mulan meets her swoon-worthy soulmate.
Books Similar To Mulan
Frostblood is not only a New York Times bestseller but it is the perfect book if you love Mulan as a character. While not a Mulan retelling, meet powerful 17-year-old Ruby. Similar to the Red Queen, Ruby has hidden abilities to control heat and flame. Like Mulan, she is a warrior in love.
With the death of her mother, Ruby, a Fireblood, joins forces with the Frostbloods to seek revenge and overthrow the corrupt kingdom. Soon captured, Ruby is thrown into a pit where she must fight for her life, and of course, battle her emotions over a guy. Read More→
Winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award, Alanna is a book similar to Mulan for its lead characters overcoming gendered stereotypes and women with weapon mastery.
The first title in the Song of the Lioness series, enter a Mulan-like world where females cannot aspire to warrior status. Alanna ultimately switches places with her twin brother to train as a page. With a magical element read along to see if Alanna can obtain Mulan’s legendary status.
If you are looking for books like Mulan, you will enjoy Rebel Wing for its woman-goes-to-battle-after-feeling-powerless edge.
18-year-old Aris feels helpless at home while her boyfriend is drafted into the war. Unlike Mulan, though, she is recruited into the war effort as a pilot but is asked to disguise herself as a man. Sigh… Of course, women–even good ones–aren’t allowed into the military. Can Aris save the Dominion of Atalanta?
Defy is one of those popular Mulan books that incorporates a love triangle, sorcery, and again, women in battle.
Alex dresses as a male to fight in the army with her badass sword-fighting skills. Although unstoppable, a sorcerer kidnaps Alex along with her friend and a guard. We can see where this is going, right?
While trying to sort through her feelings for these guys, Alex must still try to save her kingdom. Read More→
Popular Mulan Books For Adults
I’ve recently read the hype about Woman Warriors, which is a good book if you like Mulan stories since Toler focuses on IRL strong women who were once pushed into the shadows of history.
Since the beginning of time, women have fought in battles and changed their identities. Gender masked their accomplishments. The women in the book span the globe and transcend time. A few women included: Tomyris, Amina of Hausa, Boudica, and Lakshmi Bai.
Have you heard of them up until now? Me either.
It is not a secret that I haven’t joined the GOT fandom yet. Although not really a popular Mulan series per se, I think we all know that GOT has strong women that battle it out.
With the end of the HBO series, I couldn’t knowingly leave GOT off of this list of strong women warriors.
I have not read the books, but I know that there is a struggle for the Iron Throne, some dragons, and some very badass women. Further explaining would just insult the people who know it all way better than me.
I don’t know about you, but I am seriously ready to go out into the world and kick some major ass now. But as me, Christine, TUL. I went to Smith–you won’t see me covering up or succumbing to gender roles. My sword: my pen. My little fuzzy sidekick? A glass of wine.
So which of these popular Mulan books and retellings will you read? What is your favorite aspect about Mulan? I’d love to know what other books like Mulan you’d recommend in the comments. I feel like I am missing out on adult fiction titles.
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