5-star reviews by reviewers/bloggers:


EMERALD BOOK REVIEWS

A well-crafted historical fiction with a distinctly cinematic feel to it...

Wings of a Flying Tiger by Iris Yang is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel, with brilliantly drawn characters driven by love, sacrifice and bravery. The author weaves a well-crafted heroic story with emotional highs and lows that will captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. Skillfully constructed, this historical fiction revolves around the two main characters Jasmine and Jack, set against the backdrop of one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.

Jasmine Bai, an art student who has been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.

With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered…’

Wings of a Flying Tiger had me engaged from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the story, the character development, and dialogue. It’s a well-written Historical Fiction that flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There’s plenty of action, adventure and intrigue in this page turner that will take the reader on mesmerizing journey.

It’s one of those books that comes along occasionally that will make you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. For those looking for an interesting, three-dimensional and stimulating read, this would be a great find. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Iris Yang in the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Historical Fiction. It would also make a great selection for book clubs. A well-deserved five stars from me.


Combing Through the Pages

This may be the weirdest review I’ve ever written. Probably not for anyone reading it, but definitely for me personally.

Why? I’m glad you asked!

Okay, you probably didn’t, but I’m gonna tell you anyway…

I’m not normally big on war/battle scenes outside of the fantasy genre. I have no idea why, but give me a smoked orc, a decapitated goblin, burnt elf flesh – even a highly bloody GOT battle – and I’m all in! But a real life battle scene? Machine guns, fighter jets, human vs. human in a horrific and pointless war??? Nope. Can’t do it.

But of course, that’s exactly how Wings of a Flying Tiger began — with a jet fighter shoot out and a pilot seeing his best friend being shot out of the sky while trying to parachute to safety… right before his own plane is brought down! This is NOT my kinda thing!!

So why did I love this book SO much???

My Thoughts on Wings of a Flying Tiger:

I’m going to try my best to write a spoiler-free review, but it’s going to be tough. There’s so much I want to say about this book! At the same time, I don’t want to give too much of the story away or ruin any twists.

Let’s get this out of the way first – This book takes place during an incredibly brutal war. There are LOTS OF TRIGGERS: rape/sexual assault; extreme violence and lots of dead bodies; in-depth depictions of war scenes and horribly cruel crimes. But if you can make it through all that, you’re probably going to add Wings of a Flying Tiger to your favorites!

The Story:

While the violence is horrific, the story itself is compelling, well-written, and super fast-paced! I found myself pausing so my heart had time to slow down.

Yes, the story takes place in a war. Yes, it’s gruesome. Yet it’s also filled with hope, love, and joy.

The main character, Jasmine Bai, leaves school to travel home to convince her parents to leave Nanking before the Japanese invade. But her warning comes too late and she finds herself in the middle of Japanese-controlled territory! She ends up taking refuge at an all-women college inside the International Safety Zone, a 2-mile stretch that’s supposed to offer safety to the surviving civilians. But the Japanese military doesn’t obey the rules of the zone for very long!

Just when it seems Jasmine’s life might regain some level of safety and “normalcy,” her life is shaken up yet again when she and her cousin come upon a Flying Tiger (an American pilot volunteering to fight for China against the Japanese) named Danny.

The Characters:

The characters in Wings of a Flying Tiger are part of what keeps the story flowing at such a fast and engaging pace. They’re so well-written it’s hard not to find yourself completely enthralled with them, wondering what’s going to happen next and how they’ll get out of their current predicament.

Jasmine and her cousin, Daisy, are sweet and innocent in the beginning of the novel and somehow manage to maintain some of that in the most brutal of situations. Daisy especially seems sheltered from the harshness of the war as the two girls go through life just trying to survive.

The Fighting Tiger, Danny, is suffering from PTSD (obviously not referred to as that in the book) and struggles with nightmares while at the same time being anxious to get back to the fight after his plane is brought down. If I talk too much more about Danny, I’m afraid I’ll ruin some things so I’ll just end right there on him.

There are plenty of other supporting characters, good and bad. Everyone I either loved or hated.

Final Thoughts:

This was an incredibly hard book to read. Not because the story, writing, characters, or anything like that was “bad,” but because the story, writing, characters, and scenes were so good! The story takes place in the middle of a war, while Japanese soldiers are committing the most horrible atrocities imaginable — and the author doesn’t back down from that. She writes it in all its horridness. Normally, I can’t stomach this stuff…

So I cannot believe how much I loved this book. The entire time spent reading I either cried, laughed, experienced joy, pain, relief, fear, love or hate. And I felt emotionally spent by the time I reached the end. But sometimes, the best books just do that you!

https://jesscombs.com/2019/03/20/wings-of-a-flying-tiger-by-iris-yang/


Priscilla's Zine & Bookstore

Trigger warnings: JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING that might activate anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, or grief is in this novel. It is a classical tragedy about the horrors of war. Read it when you feel ready to deal with any and all the unpleasant emotions known to humankind. Then feel cleansed, strong, and motivated to work for peace.

Wings of a Flying Tiger begins and ends with Danny, the American pilot who's taken out twelve other Japanese fighter planes before one of them takes him down too. In between chapters of Danny's story, we read mostly about Bai Moli, White Jasmine, the "tall" (five feet six!) and beautiful art student who "has to" make the trip to rescue her parents from the Rape of Nanking. Arriving just as her murdered parents' bodies begin to decompose, Jasmine becomes a sort of symbol of the city: brave and generous, tortured and violated, heroic to the end.

By a mistake the publisher sent me the second volume of a two-volume story first, so I knew that the first volume does not have a happy-ever-after ending for Jasmine. I did not guess how her story was going to end. The author has chosen to spare Danny, whom she rescues and promises to marry, and White Birch, her favorite cousin, from knowing all the details of Jasmine's story.

The year the young men really get to know Jasmine is in some ways a heartwarming one. Everyone is hiding from the war in a peaceful mountain village, full of old people and children who project their feelings for the young soldiers in their families onto the wounded soldier Danny. (Until Birch visits, the closest thing the village has to young men are two teenagers, an ordinary empty-headed kid called "Rock" and a slightly older but even dumber one called "Wood.") Most Chinese women have no formal education, a luxury only a few rich families can consider; Jasmine, Birch, and Birch's little sister Daisy speak English and Japanese as well as Chinese and are greatly respected, even though Jasmine is a shockingly modern girl who has actually touched Danny, once or twice even when he was conscious, before promising to marry him. Everyone likes their pet American "Flying Tiger." The children love his war stories, and Birch and Danny formally adopt each other as brothers. Most of the villagers have managed not to know much about what happened in faraway Nanking.

For those in my part of the world who have devoured all those stories of old China by Amy Tan, Gus Lee, Bette Bao Lord, and Carolyn See, here is that next part of the story where our favorite novelists usually tell us "And then the main characters came to America." Here is the part of Chinese history they left behind. It is not quaint and strange and very far away from the real world. It is real and dark and bitter and foul, and not something for the faint of heart to think about--except that it's what war is really like. Jasmine stays pure at heart; her fatal flaw is her unmitigated niceness; she's too good for this world. Danny accepts Birch in place of his lost buddy Jack, and might be able to accept Daisy in place of Jasmine when Daisy grows up, if Danny lives so long...what becomes of the young men is the other story readers will get in Will of a Tiger. The other characters, the nice old people, the adorable little children, poor clueless Rock and Wood...that's war, Gentle Readers. That's why war is never a good thing.

These stories are simply told, if not in "words of one syllable" at least in the commonly used words that put the books at a fifth grade reading level. That's because English is not Iris Yang's first language, not because the Flying Tiger stories are suitable for children. They're not. They contain explicit sex and graphic violence and the hatred that is part of war. Adults should read these novels if they dare, and renew their commitment to practice peace.

https://priscillaking.blogspot.com/2019/02/book-review-wings-of-flying-tiger.html


Lucy Rambles Book Review

This is a tale of true heroism and immeasurable strength and resilience during a time of great sadness and war. Truth be told, I’m hit and miss when it comes to historical fiction as could be seen from my review for A Conversation With A Cat. However, I was truly moved by this novel.

It is action-packed with good pacing, you’re kept on your toes at all times with the need to discover what happens next to the characters. I appreciated that Jasmine and Daisy worked together for every occasion and showed the great depths of unconditional love between the family. With each family member and friend that was taken from them, they only grew closer and more desperate to protect what was left of their broken lives. Their humanity, amongst other characters, brought a much needed sliver of light and hope into the book.

I feel with books such as these there’s an expectation for a happy ending. Everyone miraculously makes it out alive and the Japanese have spared countless innocent lives. That is not true for this story. It’s something I came to really appreciate about this novel was the lack of happy endings. It made the events more realistic and gave a greater understanding of the devastation war can bring.

It is beautifully written with anguish that often led to lengthy reading breaks being taken between chapters. Whilst an incredibly difficult read, it was also educational into an almost forgotten part of World War 2. The detail was exceptional and no stone was left unturned. I’d recommend avoiding reading this one if you have a hard time dealing with extreme and graphic acts of violence and death. For obvious reasons, this book is full of both.

This unequivocally deserves the 5/5 rating I’m giving it. For a debut novel, Iris Yang did a remarkable job and the sequel, Will of a Tiger, is expected to be released on 15 February.


Paul Falk on Bookglow

World War II has always been heralded as one of my favorite periods of historical fiction. Author Iris Yang accommodated me with her well-written narrative that cried out to the ravages that shook the war-torn country of China. Sadly, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were murdered at the hands of the invading Japanese. There were two main protagonists; they were both well-drawn. My heart sank just a little deeper with every passing scene. At times the anguish was almost unbearable. It was all I could do to keep my composure to the chilling end. I recommend this heartfelt read with no hesitation to any admirer of historical fiction.

Gunshots rang out as frightened refugees scrambled to board the last train destined to leave Nanking. It never left the depot; neither did some of the passengers. The Imperial forces of Japan had begun their deadly invasion. Anarchy ran rampant through the streets. Jasmine barely made it home to find that her hopes had been dashed; her parents had been murdered. My stomach churned.

The encroaching enemy showed no mercy. Men, women and children were mercilessly slaughtered. The blood-soaked streets were littered with bodies. Humanity had taken a backseat. Jasmine escaped the carnage of Nanking by the skin of her teeth. I felt nothing but pity for the human race.

By sheer luck, she reunited with her cousins Daisy and fighter pilot, Birch. Luckily, she found refuge with their parents, the Bai’s, for the next few years. The shelling, the needless killing, it never stopped. The endless heartaches took me on an emotional roller coaster ride.

In Western Yunnan Province during the summer of 1942, a stricken plane billowing black smoke went into a tailspin and plummeted to the ground. A parachute could be seen floating down cradling the unconscious body of Danny Hardy. On the soft grass he lay motionless. He was one of the American volunteer pilots who came to help in the Chinese struggle against the Japanese. He was one of the members of the renowned Flying Tigers. This tragic event had been witnessed by Jasmine and her cousin Daisy. In stunning detail Yang swept me along.

Jasmine sent her cousin on a perilous journey for help while she tended to the wounded pilot overnight. That cold night she snuggled close to him and provided warmth from her body. For the injured pilot, it was love at first sight. The feeling was mutual. I couldn’t pull my eyes away.

The following morning help had finally arrived. Unconscious, he was carried back to the village and had his serious wounds attended to by the herbalist, Dr Wang. Everyone in the small village praised the American pilot for coming to the aid of their country. He was a welcomed hero.

Word soon spread. The Japanese were intent on finding the downed American pilot at all costs. It was the village people’s duty and honor to protect him even if it meant placing their own lives at risk. The villagers hoped that their secret would be safe from the warring Japanese. Only time would tell.


The Eclectic Review

I chose this book due to my interest in the historical fiction war theme in China and wanting to learn more about the Flying Tigers.

The Fei Hu, or Flying Tigers, were the First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942 recruited under presidential authority. The character of Danny is one of those pilots who gets shot down near the small village of Tao Hua Cun—Village of Peach Blossoms where Jasmine and her cousin, Daisy, rescue the hero who risks his life to help China.

The character of Jasmine in Wings of a Flying Tiger is Ms. Yang’s homage to the strong women in her life who overcame cultural barriers and escaped the horrific Nanking Massacre which she depicts in the novel.

This book is full of heroes. Not only Danny and Jasmine who overcome inconceivable hardships, but the wonderful, supportive characters such as sweet Daisy, Jasmine’s cousin, who would do anything to help Jasmine and Danny, Doctor Wang, the herbalist who provides shelter for Jasmine and provides Danny with the treatments to heal faster, and Daisy’s brother, Birch, who gives Danny the strength he needs to continue.

The story is fast-paced and the historical elements reveal the brutality of war including rape and murder, but most importantly, it reveals the courage and resilience of the Chinese people.

In all, it is an unforgettable, emotionally draining and tragic love story of a young, fearless, Chinese woman and a young, valiant, American pilot who both unselfishly risk their lives many times over to help others.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!


The Brown Bookloft

Summary: Jasmine Bai, a university student, leaves the relative security of her uncle’s house in Chungking to find her parents in Nanking. It is 1937 and the Japanese are reported near the Republic of China’s capital. Having already ravaged Peking and Shanghai, the Japanese army is headed to Nanking. Jasmine fears for the safety of her parents, both esteemed educators. Her father, Professor Bai, with his fluency in Japanese, is confident that he could help communicate with the invaders and protect the university.

When Jasmine arrives at her parents’ home, it is too late. Her parents are dead, and Nanking is in complete chaos. She takes refuge in a safety zone, a church, directed by Father John, a priest from the United States. But safety zones mean little to the Japanese and she is forced to flee again…and again. The Japanese are constantly looking for soldiers in hiding and “prostitutes”—basically any very pretty, young woman. The first they kill; the second they capture and rape.

Father John arranges for a disguise for Jasmine and gets her out of the city. It is believed to be safer in the countryside. But when an American airman, a Flying Tiger, crashes near the remote village where she is staying, the Japanese are determined to find him—and will destroy anyone they believe to be even remotely involved in his survival.

Comments: Wings of a Flying Tiger is much more than Jasmine’s story. Told with a direct, sympathetic style, it is an agonizing depiction of the Japanese atrocities in China during World War II. Personally, I never knew much about this part of the war. My childhood studies focused on the United States’ war with Japan, but barely mentioned China. I am grateful to the author for educating me about this period of China’s history. The horrors tore at my soul, now more than 80 years distanced. It is good to never forget what human beings can do to each other in war.

The author was born and raised in China and drew from her parents’ and grandmother’s experiences in the war. An interview with the author can be found here.

Highly recommended. This book is suitable for adults and older young adults.


Sassy Redhead Book Reviews

Ms. Yang brought this book to my attention and I am glad that she did. I do not read a lot of historical books, but this story was very informative, interesting, and heartbreaking. The turmoil and tribulations that all of these characters went through were heart wrenching and life changing.

Danny Hardy, an American volunteer pilot is in China as a Flying Tiger Pilot who went to China to help them defend their country during the occupation of Japan. While flying a mission with his wingman and childhood best friend, Jack, they both take damaging fire to their planes. Jack has to eject from the plane and is vulnerable to the Japanese fighter pilots. He is shot before he can get to the ground and get under cover. Danny witnesses this and finds a new resolve to chase the Japanese pilots and get his revenge for Jack’s death. In his fight against the Japanese pilots, his plane is damaged and he has to eject as well.

Jasmine Bai, a young Chinese woman who lives with her Aunt, Uncle, and younger cousin, while attending college is determined to get to her parents and bring them to Chungking out of the danger zone. Jasmine will go through so much during her journey and she will prove her strength and determination. Jasmine’s older cousin, Birch is a fighter pilot in the Air Force and her uncle is a Colonel in the Air Force.

I really enjoyed this story, although there some pages where I cringed while reading and the whole time I was cheering for Jasmine, Daisy, Jasmine’s younger cousin, and others to fight their hardest and save their homeland and their families. The strength of the characters in this story really pulled me into their lives and kept the pages turning. These characters were very likable and enjoyable to read. I give this story a 5 star review and now I am looking forward to the second book, Will of a Tiger. Thank you Ms. Yang for contacting me and bringing your book to my attention. I really liked the characters and the story.


Adrienne Madill on Bookglow

Wings of a Flying Tiger was fast paced and intense. It was full of horror, sadness, and acts of incredible bravery. It was a real eye opener to just how low man can sink in the throes of war and hatred, and how fear can bring people to work together.

This one was definitely hard to read. It was also a bit of a history lesson. I honestly had no idea a massacre like this had taken place in China. Though the story itself was fiction, it was based off the Nanking Massacre led by the Japanese in the 1930s and ’40s.

The story was very fast paced. On one hand, it was a little too fast paced for me, sometimes jumping through time and not really allowing for much world building, but, on the other hand, it really did a great job of showing how horrific and chaotic this massacre was. This non-stop pace really threw me right in the middle of the horrors of the story.

The characters really came to life on the pages too. Also, learning that the characters were inspired by the author’s relatives who lived through this massacre made them feel more realistic and emotional. Jasmine and Daisy were so courageous and beautiful and I was so terrified for them throughout the whole book! Danny was such a brave man and I loved how he tried so hard to protect the people of China, and his loved ones.

This story was so heart pounding and quite terrifying. It never went in to too much detail as far as the rape scenes were concerned, thank goodness, but it definitely highlighted the horrors the women of China faced during this awful massacre. It highlighted the terror the Chinese military, and the people of China, had to face from the Japanese during the invasions, and it really showed how courageous the Chinese had to be during this horrible time.

What really kept me going throughout the story was the camaraderie between the characters and their strength and bravery. This story was so incredibly emotional and I was really placed in the moment of this tragedy. My heart broke knowing that the people of China had to live, and die, through this. Though the story was quite graphic, and very intensely paced, I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction about dark times and strong characters.


The Fiction Addition

In the dark days after the Nanjing Massacre, as the Second Sino-Japanese War is turning into World War II, an American pilot crashes into the Chinese countryside. Daisy, her cousin Jasmine and her older brother Birch, have to save the injured pilot, Danny, while trying to protect their homeland in Wings of a Flying Tiger.

The author is very blunt about the upsetting events of the war, especially the Rape of Nanking. Although it’s very well done, both moving and factually accurate, this is your content warning for violence, rape, and cruelty in general. Some of the more disturbing moments were when Jasmine, Father John and Professor Valentine realized they could use their influence to protect a few people from the invading Japanese army, but they couldn’t save the city, and they had to choose who could be saved.

I was familiar with the Rape of Nanking in 1937 before reading this novel, so I was ready for the scale of death and destruction. (I read about it when I was getting ready to go to Yangzhou, but my own experience with Nanjing was just a train station on my way to Shanghai.) This book, through, highlights the human cost of war, with elements of bravery and self-sacrifice often found in Chinese folk tales. It makes a moving story, especially because it’s so easy to care about the characters, even the minor ones.

I also really liked seeing Birch and Danny’s relationship unfold. We don’t often see male friendship in novels, so I enjoyed seeing their growing respect and eventually their sworn brotherhood. Birch, Danny, Jasmine, and Daisy are all forced to experience horrors of war, but after their trials, the surviving characters aren’t just stronger, they’ve chosen to still be kind, honorable people.

This is a moving historical novel about characters trying to do the right thing in impossible circumstances.


Priscilla's Zine & Bookstore

Trigger warnings: JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING that might activate anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, or grief is in this novel. It is a classical tragedy about the horrors of war. Read it when you feel ready to deal with any and all the unpleasant emotions known to humankind. Then feel cleansed, strong, and motivated to work for peace.

Wings of a Flying Tiger begins and ends with Danny, the American pilot who's taken out twelve other Japanese fighter planes before one of them takes him down too. In between chapters of Danny's story, we read mostly about Bai Moli, White Jasmine, the "tall" (five feet six!) and beautiful art student who "has to" make the trip to rescue her parents from the Rape of Nanking. Arriving just as her murdered parents' bodies begin to decompose, Jasmine becomes a sort of symbol of the city: brave and generous, tortured and violated, heroic to the end.

By a mistake the publisher sent me the second volume of a two-volume story first, so I knew that the first volume does not have a happy-ever-after ending for Jasmine. I did not guess how her story was going to end. The author has chosen to spare Danny, whom she rescues and promises to marry, and White Birch, her favorite cousin, from knowing all the details of Jasmine's story.

The year the young men really get to know Jasmine is in some ways a heartwarming one. Everyone is hiding from the war in a peaceful mountain village, full of old people and children who project their feelings for the young soldiers in their families onto the wounded soldier Danny. (Until Birch visits, the closest thing the village has to young men are two teenagers, an ordinary empty-headed kid called "Rock" and a slightly older but even dumber one called "Wood.") Most Chinese women have no formal education, a luxury only a few rich families can consider; Jasmine, Birch, and Birch's little sister Daisy speak English and Japanese as well as Chinese and are greatly respected, even though Jasmine is a shockingly modern girl who has actually touched Danny, once or twice even when he was conscious, before promising to marry him. Everyone likes their pet American "Flying Tiger." The children love his war stories, and Birch and Danny formally adopt each other as brothers. Most of the villagers have managed not to know much about what happened in faraway Nanking.

For those in my part of the world who have devoured all those stories of old China by Amy Tan, Gus Lee, Bette Bao Lord, and Carolyn See, here is that next part of the story where our favorite novelists usually tell us "And then the main characters came to America." Here is the part of Chinese history they left behind. It is not quaint and strange and very far away from the real world. It is real and dark and bitter and foul, and not something for the faint of heart to think about--except that it's what war is really like. Jasmine stays pure at heart; her fatal flaw is her unmitigated niceness; she's too good for this world. Danny accepts Birch in place of his lost buddy Jack, and might be able to accept Daisy in place of Jasmine when Daisy grows up, if Danny lives so long...what becomes of the young men is the other story readers will get in Will of a Tiger. The other characters, the nice old people, the adorable little children, poor clueless Rock and Wood...that's war, Gentle Readers. That's why war is never a good thing.

These stories are simply told, if not in "words of one syllable" at least in the commonly used words that put the books at a fifth grade reading level. That's because English is not Iris Yang's first language, not because the Flying Tiger stories are suitable for children. They're not. They contain explicit sex and graphic violence and the hatred that is part of war. Adults should read these novels if they dare, and renew their commitment to practice peace.


Roy Murry Reviews and Interviews

This story is a compelling drama that shows the brutality of the human race and culture clashes of three: the Chinese, Japanese, and USA Americans.

Unfortunately, war by Imperialist brings them together in China before the entrance of the USA into World War II.

A Flying Tiger, American volunteer pilots who flew for the Chinese Nationals, has to survive from a battle. He does but with wounds that need time and mending, landing near a remote Chinese village.

In the horrific events that follow, Ms. Yang weaves a love story of a country, survival, and the people surrounding the protection of the Flying Tiger. The names are not famous, what they do is immortal, where evil loses again.

Jasmine and Danny's adventures, the main characters, may have ended dramatically, but you'll have to read the book to find out. I can say, you will be shocked and distraught after the read, as I was.

WINGS is a swift and emotional read that you will not be able to put down. Take a day off and get ready for a tear-jerking ride.


5-star reviews by readers:


On Amazon:

Jay Bower

5.0 out of 5 stars Not a typical love story!

What would you be willing to sacrifice for your loved ones? This is the essential question of the novel.

This novel is not for the faint of heart. It is a difficult novel to read, because the subject matter is often difficult. Iris describes in some detail the horrors suffered by millions of Chinese under the Japanese occupation of China during World War Two. The massacres, the rapes, the looting: it is all here. Though this is a fictional story, it is an important reminder of the terrible depravity that lurks just underneath the skin of every one of us.

The novel begins with a short Prologue, which describes the day Danny and his best friend, Jack, both get shot down. The two men are pilots with the American Volunteer Group, known popularly as the Flying Tigers. The date is described as July, 1942. Danny is injured. Jack dies in his parachute, strafed by the Japanese fighter pilots.

As the main text of the novel begins, we suddenly jump back in time five years, where we meet a young Jasmine Bai on her way to Nanking to help her parents escape from the coming Japanese attack on Nanking. This discontinuity of the timeline took me about five chapters to get over. I kept trying to place the 1937 events in a 1942 context. This was my only serious issue with the novel.

Jasmine, an aspiring and talented artist, ends up witnessing the horror of the Rape of Nanking, although she herself escapes. One of her two companions, though, does not. The unfortunate housemaid's brutal demise is described in detail. The tone for the rest of the book is set, and one can not escape the feeling of imminent terror with each turn of the page.

Jasmine, sent to western China by her uncle, comes across Danny, just after he had been shot down. Jasmine cares for the injured Danny, with much assistance from her cousin, Daisy. Both women begin to have feelings for their American hero pilot. One day, the Japanese come, searching for Danny. Jasmine and Daisy take Danny to a cave in the mountains, where they hide out as Danny recovers. Events to come will test Jasmine, Daisy, and Danny, their love for each other, and their devotion to their friends. To say much more would be to reveal the shocking plot twists in the second and third acts of the novel. (The author has divided the novel into three parts.)

This novel will shatter your soul and rend your heart. It will exhaust you. It will bring tears to your eyes. It will make your heart pound in your chest. You will realize you've been holding your breath for the last three pages.

While not as "polished" as some other novels, the gritty presentation is a good fit for the subject matter.

In spite of evil and depravity, our characters find that love and friendship, honor and valor, elevate their hearts and souls above all that is going on around them.


Piaras

5.0 out of 5 stars A well-crafted historical fiction with a distinctly cinematic feel to it.

Wings of a Flying Tiger by Iris Yang is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel, with brilliantly drawn characters driven by love, sacrifice and bravery. The author weaves a well-crafted heroic story with emotional highs and lows that will captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. Skillfully constructed, this historical fiction revolves around the two main characters Jasmine and Jack, set against the backdrop of one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.

Jasmine Bai, an art student who has been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.

With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered…’

Wings of a Flying Tiger had me engaged from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the story, the character development, and dialogue. It’s a well-written Historical Fiction that flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There’s plenty of action, adventure and intrigue in this page turner that will take the reader on mesmerizing journey.

It’s one of those books that comes along occasionally that will make you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. For those looking for an interesting, three-dimensional and stimulating read, this would be a great find. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Iris Yang in the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Historical Fiction. It would also make a great selection for book clubs. A well-deserved five stars from me.


Lindy

5.0 out of 5 starsgood author

Both my husband and myself enjoyed this historical fiction novel regarding the Japanese invading China and the use of American aviators volunteering their time to help the Chinese fight against the Japanese in the sky. These airman were called the "Flying Tigers." Prior to reading this story, I had heard of the Flying Tigers but was not sure who they were. Now I know. The story is well-written and holds your interest through the entire book.


Naxie Naxie

5.0 out of 5 starsfantastic book....couldn't put it down.

make sure you have time before you start reading this brilliant book by Iris Yang - you won't be able to stop reading until you see how this story ends. Wings of A Flying Tiger deals with the horrors of war in graphic and historically accurate detail, juxtaposed with a story of what lengths we go to for those people in our lives who we profoundly love and would do anything....ANYTHING....to help them survive. it's a story of war and of love and friendship. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to reading all books that Iris Yang writes in the future.


JV

5.0 out of 5 starsAmerica's Flying Tigers During the China/Japanese Conflict

An interesting fictional love story. The writer uses historical facts and her descriptive geographic knowledge brings the story to life. I learned facts about China, Japan and the writer's family that I never knew. I think this book would make an epic movie!


Gloria J.

5.0 out of 5 starsUnder-reported Chinese-American story

This sharp depiction of the atrocities the innocent Chinese civilians suffered at the hands of an out-of-control Japanese military brings the important story forward for all mankind to study. Thank you, Iris, for your brave contribution to the WW II body of work. Fellow readers, I couldn’t turn away and I couldn’t put it down.


C Lindell

5.0 out of 5 starsGreat historical novel

I really enjoyed the book and the carefully researched history that Ms Yang placed into her book. She brought her family knowledge of the area and the Chinese struggle against the Japanese oppression into a well crafted novel.

I look forward to reading more from Iris Yang.


Charlene Gier

5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story w/ historical relevance

The author bravely paints a captivating picture of a part of history when the US and China were allies. Hints of forbidden romance and stark details of the truth of war make this a page turner. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, "Will of a Tiger."


Rongsheng Wang

5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story of the history

This is a great historical story. When you can read history as part of the lives of real humans, it makes it so much more engaging and emotional. The author does a great job of bringing the characters, the Chinese culture and history during the Second World War Two to life. Highly recommend this book to everyone.


MS YAN WU

5.0 out of 5 stars The Wings of a flying tiger book is a very good book.

There was a lot of things that I liked about this book and its sequel: Will of a tiger. But I am just going to say the main things that I like about it for now. I liked it how that they HAD to do something to the other main characters and how it captured the emotion in how devastating it must have been in order to sacrifice so much and how the village got destroyed in the story(SPOILER ALERT!).


Rongsheng Wang

5.0 out of 5 starsAn amazing story of the history

This is a great historical story. When you can read history as part of the lives of real humans, it makes it so much more engaging and emotional. The author does a great job of bringing the characters, the Chinese culture and history during the Second World War Two to life. Highly recommend this book to everyone.


Peter Xu

5.0 out of 5 stars History and friendship can't be forgotten.

This is a rare historical reading for all ages. It can help you quickly understand the difficult times that occurred during that period of war and the touching stories of American pilots and Chinese soldiers and civilians fighting against the aggressors.


MS YAN WU

5.0 out of 5 stars The Wings of a flying tiger book is a very good book.

There was a lot of things that I liked about this book and its sequel: Will of a tiger. But I am just going to say the main things that I like about it for now. I liked it how that they HAD to do something to the other main characters and how it captured the emotion in how devastating it must have been in order to sacrifice so much and how the village got destroyed in the story


The Eclectic Review

5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable, emotionally draining and tragic love story

I chose this book due to my interest in the historical fiction war theme in China and wanting to learn more about the Flying Tigers.

The Fei Hu, or Flying Tigers, were the First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942 recruited under presidential authority. The character of Danny is one of those pilots who gets shot down near the small village of Tao Hua Cun—Village of Peach Blossoms where Jasmine and her cousin, Daisy, rescue the hero who risks his life to help China.

The character of Jasmine in Wings of a Flying Tiger is Ms. Yang’s homage to the strong women in her life who overcame cultural barriers and escaped the horrific Nanking Massacre which she depicts in the novel.

This book is full of heroes. Not only Danny and Jasmine who overcome inconceivable hardships, but the wonderful, supportive characters such as sweet Daisy, Jasmine’s cousin, who would do anything to help Jasmine and Danny, Doctor Wang, the herbalist who provides shelter for Jasmine and provides Danny with the treatments to heal faster, and Daisy’s brother, Birch, who gives Danny the strength he needs to continue.

The story is fast-paced and the historical elements reveal the brutality of war including rape and murder, but most importantly, it reveals the courage and resilience of the Chinese people.

In all, it is an unforgettable, emotionally draining and tragic love story of a young, fearless, Chinese woman and a young, valiant, American pilot who both unselfishly risk their lives many times over to help others.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!


Mceye

5.0 out of 5 stars Once I opened the cover I could not put it down.

I would have not purchased this book. However by a chance meeting with the author while I was on vacation and needing a book to read. Here I am my first book review.

Learning this part of the world’s history was good. However the author has woven the lives of the people involved into a gripping tale of the depth of the human spirit.


Melinda

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a compelling book

I could not put this book down. Ms Yang's research has brought this terrible part of history to life. I so look forward to the sequel.


C. Wang

5.0 out of 5 stars The book was an emotional, romantic and exhilarating read

It was an emotional, romantic and exhilarating read from the start to the very end. The book is packed with fast-paced actions and, yet, full of sensuous images. Among many others it has drawn a vibrant picture of a complex young, gorgeous and educated character, Jasmine, that can only come from the hand of a female author of the equal or higher quality. The author has depicted a perfect and ideal character, the most delicate and also resilient--a flawless inside and out—young woman.

Its ending was heartrending, yet uplifting, as an utmost test of the inner strength and willpower of the young female protagonist --there seems to be no any other way to end it. The story is thought-provoking and inspirational. But for me. it’s a rare glimpse through the book into a rich inner world of the author, a Chinese-born-and-trained scientist turned American writer.

If there is something that kept me anticipating, it was the title of the book I was contemplating while reading it. Until 90 pages deep into the main story line, the flying tiger started to appear, like the final piece falling into the puzzle.


Bertie Boston

5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner

Ms. Yang's book is really fabulous. It's a fast-paced, interesting and exciting read. It is a real eye-opener on the atrocities of war, but it is also a powerful story of love, sacrifice and courage. I highly recommend it.


Dr. Alex Zhu

5.0 out of 5 stars The author’s own family history has made the story more compelling

A romantic story of a Chinese girl and an American soldier in the darkest period of World War Two in China. It is particularly refreshing to read considering the ongoing trade war between two countries.


KebKerr

5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Interesting and Heartbreaking Story

I do not read a lot of historical books, but this story was very informative, interesting, and heartbreaking. The turmoil and tribulations that all of these characters went through were heart wrenching and life changing.

Danny Hardy, an American volunteer pilot is in China as a Flying Tiger Pilot who went to China to help them defend their country during the occupation of Japan. While flying a mission with his wingman and childhood best friend, Jack, they both take damaging fire to their planes. Jack has to eject from the plane and is vulnerable to the Japanese fighter pilots. He is shot before he can get to the ground and get under cover. Danny witnesses this and finds a new resolve to chase the Japanese pilots and get his revenge for Jack's death. In his fight against the Japanese pilots, his plane is damaged and he has to eject as well.

Jasmine Bai, a young Chinese woman who lives with her Aunt, Uncle, and younger cousin, while attending college is determined to get to her parents and bring them to Chungking out of the danger zone. Jasmine will go through so much during her journey and she will prove her strength and determination. Jasmine's older cousin, Birch is a fighter pilot in the Air Force and her uncle is a Colonel in the Air Force.

I really enjoyed this story, although there some pages where I cringed while reading and the whole time I was cheering for Jasmine, Daisy, Jasmine's younger cousin, and others to fight their hardest and save their homeland and their families. The strength of the characters in this story really pulled me into their lives and kept the pages turning. These characters were very likable and enjoyable to read. I give this story a 5 star review and now I am looking forward to the second book, Will of a Tiger.


Janet L. Flowers

5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read

This book is an excellent work of historical fiction that does not romanticize the cruelties of war but does show the resilience of the human spirit. I was spellbound by the love story and horrified by the atrocities described. This work is compelling and powerful. The characters are fully fleshed out and lead one to identify with their struggles and to care deeply about what will happen to them. While describing an ugly picture in our world's history, this book also highlights human values such as family ties, love, and sacrifice. I highly recommend it.


xiaodong li

5.0 out of 5 stars This could be turned into a great movie

I’d highly recommend Iris Yang’s Wings of a Flying Tiger. It starts out great and just keeps getting better and better. An American hero and a Chinese heroine, a bigger-than-life love story, two highly educated upper class families, a serene village tucked in flowers dotted mountain ranges... all set against the backdrop of the notorious Nanking Massacre, and the Japanese troops’ indescribable atrocities and destructions. Picturesque sceneries and a heartbreaking yet uplifting storyline. I’d love to see the book turned into a major motion picture. It certainly has all the right elements. Thank you, Iris, for telling this extraordinary story and making this period of very dark history more known.


Webster McClellen

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written, Driving Story Based upon Two Cultures at a time of War

As a pilot and son of a WWII vet, when I saw that the historical heroes of the Flying Tigers are woven into the fabric of this novel, I was piqued. And it spurred me to look them up. Reading Iris's novel was more than a treat. She has deftly merged a powerful and uplifting story into the historical conflict the Chinese endured, a culture from which she comes and about incidents her on family experienced. This is a story for a weekend adventure. Once you get into it, you will be driven to follow the trail across Southern China to its conclusion. Only missing, so far, are more beautifully written stories from her.


Lihua

5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel! Hard to put down once I started.

Iris told a great story in this book. I am deeply saddened by the suffering of Chinese people during the war, and admire the bravery of the main character Jasmine Bai. Looking forward to the continues of the story.


Lou S

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and engrossing

This exciting story was very engrossing. I felt very close to the characters and was caught up in the situations. It was very effective at putting a human face on the horrors of war, and was stirring in the way that the characters withstood the worst of hardships.


Desertrosebud

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book

Having recently read this wonderful book after seeing the author in person at the Cottonwood Library, I am thrilled to say that I loved it! It is beautifully written and the story really touched my heart. The characters really come to life in her writing. Can't wait for the sequel to come out in November. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend that you purchase a copy.


Susan S.

5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous to Read Before Bedtime!!

Simply stated yet intricate in detail…Horrific yet tender…Unlikely but apt pairings that somehow fit the emotional architecture of this historical novel set in China during WWII. It’s indeed possible that I experienced all five stages of grief following the death of one of the characters (no spoiler alerts)…Yes, this is difficult reading, but Yang’s vivid characterizations and superb storytelling compel you to continue on. Many American readers will be appalled by the wartime atrocities the Japanese inflicted on the Chinese. I sure was. The redeeming qualities of courage and bravery seen in some of the characters, kept me from feeling merely outraged by man’s inhumanity. Something tells me an author needs to have a strong and tenacious spirit—the spirit of a true warrior—to be able to write such a tale!


Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Summer (or anytime) Read

This is a great little piece of historical fiction. As other reviewers have mentioned, history books are fine, but when you can read history as part of the lives of real humans trying to survive and live their lives, it makes it so much more engaging and real. The author does a great job of bringing the characters, the landscape and the Chinese culture to life. This is a solid first offering and I look forward to reading the sequel.


Phil S

5.0 out of 5 stars Five ***** Great Book!

Iris Yang is an excellent storyteller. Her novel is a fast paced narrative that is hard to put down. It reminds you of the horrors of war but still manages to be a great love story. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.


C. Elizabeth Barrett

5.0 out of 5 stars War isn't good for anyone

This is an incredibly realistic (fiction based on fact) book about the horrors of war, and specifically, how war and the extreme cruelty of the enemy affects the civilians. The violence bothered me yet I suffered through it because It really happened. The characters are so well developed, I felt I knew them all personally, and grieved when they were hurt. I cried at the end, not for the things that happened as much as for the things that could have happened. It also made me think about how petty all my problems are compared to what these people went through. I wonder if any of the people I know could survive the horrors these people did. A very excellent book!


Ed B

5.0 out of 5 stars Great story and history lesson!

One of those books where I couldn't put it down until I finished. Definitely a great story. Through this book, I learned more about what happened between Japan and China leading up to and during WWII than I had learned in any history class. Although I had read about the heroic Flying Tigers when I was much younger, those stories presented it from the military perspective of American war heroes. Iris Yang's story tells it from the perspective of the Chinese living through the war and its atrocities, and how the attempted rescuing of one Flying Tiger affected their lives. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.


RiteWithHeart

5.0 out of 5 stars ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE...

We are blessed with a writer's voice as grand as author Iris Yang. And, for me, as the grateful recipient of a pass-along- gift from a dear friend, this work of art - and heart - left me a better person for it. First, having little understanding let alone truth about World History - especially regarding the too-often-concealed facts about Nanking and the events leading up to WWII vis a vis Japan, China and the USA, I needed this astonishing blast of enlightenment concerning our world -then and now. Indeed, it's high time we learn about one of the most momentous events that shaped the formidable global power known as "China" today. Second, the history and culture of Japan is also here especially insofar as Japan's current stance in never having diplomatically apologized to China revealing further depth of history and culture in Asia. Third, unlike other historical fiction books, Iris Yang brilliantly weaves a complex story within a story without relying, as some authors in this genre do, of stringing fact after fact while glossing it over with a weak story line. Fourth, after reading "Wings of a Flying Tiger" - you will be left as I was...taking a deep breath in the depth of silence that only the most profound authors bestow while at the same time leaving you with a hush-of-a-wish that this book be made into a film (it already reads like this) if only we had a producer with the guts enough to do it. Please, please, please - don't let this masterpiece pass you by.


Les Gee

5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read. Culturally and historically didactic.

Iris Yang is a truly talented story teller. Beyond this well-woven yarn of unspoken love amidst the atrocities of the Japanese invasion of mainland China during WW2, "Wings..." is an historically deserved tribute to the Flying Tigers. A moving story of the indomitable human spirit in the face of unfathomable hardship, this is a must-read for everyone. Hard to put down once I started reading.


GP

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant writing. Had to read it in sections due ...

Absolutely brilliant writing. Had to read it in sections due to crying sessions. A MUST READ!


Katie T

5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Powerful

Iris Yang’s Wings of a Flying Tiger, from its cover to its bittersweet ending, contrasts the horrible brutality and reality of war against the spirits of sacrifice, devotion, and love in an altogether poignant and powerful novel.

The story follows Jasmine Bai, a highly educated art student and coveted Chinese beauty caught in the midst of the 1937 fall of Nanking. By the end of the siege, 300,000 are left dead by the Japanese and hundreds of thousands of other lives are left forever traumatized and ruined. Jasmine is a survivor, but she barely makes it out alive and encounters losses that no person should ever encounter. Yang describes with vivid detail the cruelties and assaults of the Japanese army as its forces pushed westward into mainland China. As a secondary character or innocent bystander seems to be killed off every other page, the constant suffering and body counts serve painful and necessarily disgusting reminders that on the battlefield, even winners are losers.

But this is not the only point of Yang’s novel. Instead, despite the cadence of gunshots from page to page, readers are shown that human empathy, camaraderie, and love are able to grow despite being surrounded by bloodshed and fear. This hope is displayed from the other half of the story, which focuses on Danny Hardy, a courageous American pilot and Flying Tiger who has put his life on the line for a country that is not his. When he is shot down from the sky, his path intertwines with Jasmine’s and that of her cousin, Daisy. What results feels like destiny, but not without heavy doses of tragedy.

I found myself rooting for Danny and Jasmine as I got to know each character chapter by chapter. I was touched by Jasmine’s steadfast loyalty to her family and Danny’s burden of grief and heartache. The leading pair, it seemed, possessed levels of courage that few could ever match.

It was also evident that Yang meticulously researched the historical circumstances that served as the backdrop for her story. I was thoroughly impressed by the author’s command over the language and her masterful storytelling, in addition to her use of symbolism—down to even the characters’ names. The book, driven largely by fast-paced plotlines and action, is not only impossible to put down, but it also sticks with you, long after the last word has been read.


Jasmine W

5.0 out of 5 stars Courage is doing something when you are scared half to death

This is a historical fiction with background of WW2 in Japanese occupied China. The author created a story under the two historic events at WW2, the Nanking Massacre and the Flying Tiger, the First American Volunteer group of the Chinese Air Force, as background. The beautifully written heroic tale is full of love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery under the darkest hours of Chinese history. The beautifully book is full of surprises. I thoroughly enjoyed this marvelous book and very much look forwards her next one.


Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to but down! A must reed for the summer!

Perfect way to learn history, to live it with the characters, to feel for and with them, to root for them, to understand that we must not forget what happened during WWII. Beautifully written, easy to read and thought provoking book. Can’t wait for the next one.


Jennifer Young

5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, heartbreaking, and breathtaking! A must-read.

Wings of a Flying Tiger is a historical fiction about the rescue of an American pilot during WWII in China. I’m usually not a big fan of historical fiction but this book drew me in instantly as I started reading it.

As the story unraveled, my heart pounded, with an emotional ups and downs of warmth, love, worry, anguish, and sadness—some of which are so strong that it felt almost unbearable. The Japanese invasion was brutal, but this story isn’t about cruelty or violence; it’s about love, sacrifice, bravery, and kindness in that dark period. The ending is surprising but beautiful—it’ll take you to the wildest imagination on the fate of the main characters before you finish the book.

This is a well-written historical fiction. Touching, heartbreaking, and breathtaking! A must-read. I highly recommend it to everyone, whether you are interested in that specific historical period or not.


Rapscallion57

5.0 out of 5 stars Must read well written and historically accurate

The characters come alive as distinct personalities in this well written story about a period in time that needs to be remembered.


Brian M Daniel

5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with Jasmine

This is a story of family devotion, love, courage, and honor, set against the horrors and brutalities of war as the Japanese invaded China. The book was hard to put down. The language paints incredible pictures and evokes strong emotions ranging from love to terror, and leaves characters and scenes that will stay with me forever. I fell in love with Jasmine ...

It is obvious that much research including history, Japanese and Chinese military, herbal medicine, and education, went into the writing of this book. The cultural and historical information provided a solid background for this layered story.


Paul C Steffy

5.0 out of 5 stars I was in the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam Oct 67-68 and I know first hand, war is a terrible thing.

The four Chinese characters: jing—zhong—bao—quo—inspired countless young men to fight for China in many wars: WW II was no exception! “Guo po jia wang—When one’s country falls one’s homeland is ruined.”

In the summer of 1937, Japan launched a full scale invasion in China. Nanking the capital of the Republic of China soon became the primary target of the Japanese. The horrors against the Chinese (military and civilian) continued through mid-February 1938. Then the mega-mass murders, rapes and atrocities finally tapered off. Location: Western Yunan Province in the summer of 1942. Danny Hardy was his name. He’d volunteered to be an American pilot (one of only 100 or so as the US was not involved in WW II yet) who fought and defended China against the Japanese. They were called: The “Flying Tigers” and they were the First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942. They came from the ranks of the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps recruited under presidential authority. General Claire Chennault led the group and they flew the famous and tough P-40 Tomahawk aircraft.

Danny wore a ‘Blood chit’ on cloth along with the flag of the Republic of China on the back of his leather flying jacket. The message in Chinese told civilians and military alike that this pilot needed all of the assistance possible to return him to his unit. Through a circumstance of war, Danny met Bai Moli—Jasmine—a brave young Chinese woman. Eventually, they shared a mutual respect and an unquenchable love for one another. Fate had brought them together and the war changed them forever! This is a lucid story only life itself could tell.

I give it: 5 STARS!!!


Page Turner

5.0 out of 5 stars A deeply personal story of courage, sacrifice, anguish—and love—unraveling on a stage of epic proportions.

A deeply personal story of courage, sacrifice, anguish—and love—unraveling on a stage of epic proportions. What young Jasmine Bai endures following the death of her parents at the hands of Japanese in Nanking’s infamous slaughter, is an incredible tale in its own right. However, Iris Yang weaves a deeper story, an emotional roller coaster, for the reader.

An American pilot, one of the Flying Tigers who allied with the Chinese against the invaders, has been shot down. Unconscious and barely alive, it is Jasmine, and her cousin, and a grateful town that ultimately decides his fate. As for Jasmine, she and her ‘Flying Tiger’ are fated to fall in love. Yes. This is a love story, and a war story, and so many stories … that is for the reader to discover!

I’m looking forward to Iris Yang’s next book.


On Goodreads:


Dave Wurtsmith rated it it was amazing

Even though it's fiction, this book is brutal. Many first-time authors tend to mollycoddle their characters; although it's clear she loves her characters dearly, Iris Yang is not one of those authors. It's rare to find a writer who intersperses moments of loving tenderness and peaceful village life with horrific scenes of bloody warfare, mass execution, and rape, and does it in a way that makes narrative sense and feels believable. But somehow, Iris Yang makes the whole story come together in a tapestry of war, heroism, violence, love, life, and death.

Very early on, it becomes clear that this story will be less about narrow escapes and more about how humans carry on even after the worst has happened. Plans go wrong, hopes are dashed, and minor characters die by the truckload. But through it all, there is a spirit of perseverance, a sense of the importance of holding onto life and hope despite overwhelming odds, if only to make oneself that much harder for the enemy to kill.

If you're looking for an interesting perspective on an aspect of World War II and Chinese-American relations that is rarely discussed in this era of rising tensions between the two superpowers, then Wings of a Flying Tiger will take you on a wrenching-but-powerful emotional journey. Despite the novel's somber tone, I can't wait to read the sequel!


Heidi Moore rated it it was amazing

This book is a fascinating read. So much actual history combined with romance, I loved every bit of it. I highly recommend this book - a MUST read.


Píaras Cíonnaoíth rated it it was amazing

A well-crafted historical fiction with a distinctly cinematic feel to it...

Wings of a Flying Tiger by Iris Yang is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel, with brilliantly drawn characters driven by love, sacrifice and bravery. The author weaves a well-crafted heroic story with emotional highs and lows that will captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. Skillfully constructed, this historical fiction revolves around the two main characters Jasmine and Jack, set against the backdrop of one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.

Jasmine Bai, an art student who has been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.

With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered…’

Wings of a Flying Tiger had me engaged from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the story, the character development, and dialogue. It’s a well-written Historical Fiction that flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There’s plenty of action, adventure and intrigue in this page turner that will take the reader on mesmerizing journey.

It’s one of those books that comes along occasionally that will make you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. For those looking for an interesting, three-dimensional and stimulating read, this would be a great find. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Iris Yang in the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Historical Fiction. It would also make a great selection for book clubs. A well-deserved five stars from me.


Priscilla King rated it it was amazing

This historical novel about the horrors of war is painful to read, but in a good, cleansing, motivating way. Jasmine, a young art student, tries to rescue her parents and finds them dead. Then goes back to a remote village where some relatives live and finds an injured American pilot in a field. He's a "Flying Tiger," one of a US-Chinese group flying fighter planes, like Jasmine's cousin Birch. The whole village helps nurse Danny Hardy back to health, and he and Jasmine fall in love. Then the Japanese come looking for Danny. I cried, and not just because I was reading it on Kindle either.

In a way it helped that I'd read the sequel first...novels are usually better read in sequence, so I'll say here that I already knew that Yang is not just bashing her country's enemy. In the sequel Chinese people do horrible things too. Her point is that people do horrible things in war.


Rachel | Haphazzard Storytime rated it it was amazing

I received this historical fiction from BookGlow as a free ebook in exchange for review with a bit of skepticism and relatively no previous knowledge of the Japanese invasion of China. I learned a lot, and the story Iris Yang presents through Wings of a Flying Tiger has tied my heart into knots. By the end of the first chapter, I was already crying.

The story begins with a scene of two American pilots being shot out of the sky by the Japanese. It then shifts perspectives to the story's heroine, Jasmine Bai, who unlike other Chinese girls, is attending art school and turning down marriage proposals while living with her aunt and uncle in Chungking.

Jasmine's parents live in the Japanese-occupied Nanning, and her father refuses to leave - despite the pleas of his family, because he believes if he can talk to a Japanese officer, he might be able to convince them that what they are doing is wrong. He does get to meet with a Japanese officer, but things do not go as he expected.

After going to convince her parents to come home, Jasmine finds herself on the run: hiding wherever she can find a safe haven. Her uncle Bai sends her and her cousin Daisy off to a remote mountain village where they will probably not be hurt by the Japanese.

Enter Danny, the Flying Tiger. An American volunteer pilot, Danny is found passed out and nearly dead in a field by Jasmine and Daisy. They take him back to their village and nurse him to health. The Japanese army will do anything to get their hands on him, but he should be safe in a village nobody knows about, right?

This story is tear-jerking, breathtaking, riveting. It tells of the atrocities the Japanese soldiers committed against Chinese civilians. Gang-rape, humiliation, false hope, physical mutilation. Nobody gets an easy death: no woman, no child, no elderly. Nobody.

I would have read this book in one sitting if I could have, it is so captivating.


Geraldine rated it it was amazing

This is the first opportunity I've ever had to review a book written by an acquaintance of mine. I knew this book was in process. I was very happy for the author when she announced that her first book was to be published. It was a thrill for me to see it in real life on a book shelf! The cover of the book is beautiful. I was excited to get home and begin reading.

Yes, there is rape, murder, suicide and lots of blood shed within the pages of this book. However, interwoven between what you may not want to read is a beautiful story about Jasmine and her love for her American Flying Tiger that you will want to read and always remember. The book had my attention at the first chapter and I had to keep reading.

I am now looking forward to the sequel.


Rebecka Jäger rated it it was amazing

Iris Yang became one of my favorite authors while I read Wings of a Flying Tiger. The marvelous book cover aroused my interest in the first place and I love war literature. But Yang's book isn't just about war. Despite the tragic setting of the Nanking massacre, her text is smooth and the word choices are beautiful.

"Daylight had taken its last breath and dusk had settled in. In the twilight, gunfire flashed like lightning over Purple Mountain to the east of the city, and the sky to the south glowed with flames. Nearby shadows slanted across the ground that was covered with patches of graying snow. Professor Bai stared into the gloominess then pulled the drapes closed as if to shut out the danger."

Yang moves between battle and suspense. She builds vivid characters, and her setting breathes. Her story proves that courage can make a difference among one of the worst genocides of WWII. Humans are capable of the utmost atrocity and boundless love.

I loved the main characters. It amazes me how effortless the read was.


Susan Sage rated it it was amazing

Simply stated yet intricate in detail…Horrific yet tender…Unlikely but apt pairings that somehow fit the emotional architecture of this historical novel set in China during WWII. It’s indeed possible that I experienced all five stages of grief following the death of one of the characters (no spoiler alerts)…Yes, this is difficult reading, but Yang’s vivid characterizations and superb storytelling compel you to continue on. Many American readers will be appalled by the wartime atrocities the Japanese inflicted on the Chinese. I sure was. The redeeming qualities of courage and bravery seen in some of the characters, kept me from feeling merely outraged by man’s inhumanity. Something tells me an author needs to have a strong and tenacious spirit—the spirit of a true warrior—to be able to write such a tale!


Hayley rated it it was amazing

Wings of a Flying Tiger is a really pulls in the reader, a shows us the heights of human goodness, and also the horrible savage madness that happens during war, in this case the worst war we experienced in the 20th century. I had heard of the Massacre of Nanking, but I had been intimidated to read more into the events. Reading historical fiction is a passion of mine, and having read some interview questions from Miss Yang, I was moved by the feelings of a duty Yang expressed as a Chinese-American lady and her want honor the American Flying Tigers for their bravery and sacrifice, and to tell the story of brave Chinese who aided them. With Wings of a Flying Tiger, Yang achieves what she was hoping so well. I really felt for all the characters, and hoped that if I were ever tied that hard (God forbid) but that I would have the same love and goodness.

Yang's writing is descriptive, giving the reader a window into the time and place. There's some lovely moments of tenderness with human contact and gifts, and there are extreme moments of terribleness with the war atrocities. I also had a good picture of what each of the characters looked like. I enjoy third person narrative with multiple point of views, and Yang achieves this well, the reader is never confused about which character we are with. I know this story will stick with me a long time. I'm glad I read this story, for it being a good story, but it's even better that it's a tribute to people helping people in the face of outrageous dangers and terrible odds. I look forward to Wings of a Flying Tiger's sequel and will be happy to read about these characters again.


Carolyn rated it it was amazing

Excellent historical fiction book surrounding the Nanking Massacre and Flying Tigers. The main heroine is a strong female character whose courage saved the life of a brave American Flying Tiger.


Jennifer Young rated it it was amazing

Wings of a Flying Tiger is a historical fiction about the rescue of an American pilot during WWII in China. I’m usually not a big fan of historical fiction but this book drew me in instantly as I started reading it.

As the story unraveled, my heart pounded, with an emotional ups and downs of warmth, love, worry, anguish, and sadness—some of which are so strong that it felt almost unbearable. The Japanese invasion was brutal, but this story isn’t about cruelty or violence; it’s about love, sacrifice, bravery, and kindness in that dark period. The ending is surprising but beautiful—it’ll take you to the wildest imagination on the fate of the main characters before you finish the book.

This is a well-written historical fiction. Touching, heartbreaking, and breathtaking! A must-read. I highly recommend it to everyone, whether you are interested in that specific historical period or not.


Anna rated it it was amazing

Brilliantly written. Powerful. I had to actually had to take breaks for crying sessions. Extraordinary historical fiction that captures not only the brutality of WWII (China-Japan) but, also the courage a young girl in the midst of chaos and great personal loss! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

I am so looking forward to the next novel (Nov. 2018). 5 stars+++++++++++


Katie rated it it was amazing

Iris Yang’s Wings of a Flying Tiger, from its cover to its bittersweet ending, contrasts the horrible brutality and reality of war against the spirits of sacrifice, devotion, and love in an altogether poignant and powerful novel.

The story follows Jasmine Bai, a highly educated art student and coveted Chinese beauty caught in the midst of the 1937 fall of Nanking. By the end of the siege, 300,000 are left dead by the Japanese and hundreds of thousands of other lives are left forever traumatized and ruined. Jasmine is a survivor, but she barely makes it out alive and encounters losses that no person should ever encounter. Yang describes with vivid detail the cruelties and assaults of the Japanese army as its forces pushed westward into mainland China. As a secondary character or innocent bystander seems to be killed off every other page, the constant suffering and body counts serve painful and necessarily disgusting reminders that on the battlefield, even winners are losers.

But this is not the only point of Yang’s novel. Instead, despite the cadence of gunshots from page to page, readers are shown that human empathy, camaraderie, and love are able to grow despite being surrounded by bloodshed and fear. This hope is displayed from the other half of the story, which focuses on Danny Hardy, a courageous American pilot and Flying Tiger who has put his life on the line for a country that is not his. When he is shot down from the sky, his path intertwines with Jasmine’s and that of her cousin, Daisy. What results feels like destiny, but not without heavy doses of tragedy.

I found myself rooting for Danny and Jasmine as I got to know each character chapter by chapter. I was touched by Jasmine’s steadfast loyalty to her family and Danny’s burden of grief and heartache. The leading pair, it seemed, possessed levels of courage that few could ever match.

It was also evident that Yang meticulously researched the historical circumstances that served as the backdrop for her story. I was thoroughly impressed by the author’s command over the language and her masterful storytelling, in addition to her use of symbolism—down to even the characters’ names. The book, driven largely by fast-paced plotlines and action, is not only impossible to put down, but it also sticks with you, long after the last word has been read.


Yan Li rated it it was amazing

The book is an unbelievable feat written by a doctor who is trained in modern biotechnology. The author offered her vivid and insightful but accurate description on some major historical events during the time period when the Japanese invaded China during WWII. Stories unfold quickly and intensely and the book grabs its reader attention from beginning to the end.

The book is historical fiction, but it is painfully reflecting one of the most brutal periods in human history. “…Surrounded by mountains and Yangtze River, Nanking was once a charming capital rich in art and history, and now it was a Hell on Earth…” The horror events in this book still remain deeply relevant today while some people try to muddle and conceal a part of history decades after it happened. The book is also about the kindness and resilience of human spirits while a Chinese girl and an American Pilot whose paths collided as both trying to survive the devastation of World War II.

Please find a copy of Wings of a FLYING TIGER, and also check author’s the other book: Will of A Tiger.


Gail Nelson rated it it was amazing

Wow. Didn't know anything about this book when I started and was I pleasantly surprised. Very graphic yet emotional read. Loved it!


On Barns & Noble

***** Great Read

I usually read only factual and true to life books. Because my friend Les Gee recommended this to me, I read it through in two days. Now, I look forward to the sequel. Great read from one who does not read fiction - yet I believe as an avid historian much of the sad description about this Japanese invasion and how the innocent civilians were treated by those WWll soldiers were more than accurate.