Sweet Delight: Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie

Posted June 9, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Sweet Delight / 24 Comments

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Sweet Delight: Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie
Eun Na and the Phantom

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Genres: Fantasy Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on February 2, 2016
Pages: 303
Format: eBook
Source: Free Book
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The Delight

It’s Pacific Asian Heritage month so this variation on a few mystical Korean folktales grabbed my attention.  The decision was all over when I spotted the dragon and the phantom references.

Review

Eun Na and the Phantom is inspired by Korean folklore and set in a poor mountain forest village during Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (14th to 19th centures).  It reads like a fairytale much of the time with the occasional modern word poking out, but also sprinkled with a few Korean words and cultural references as well.

Eun Na the logger’s daughter and Tae Kyung the Phantom are the main couple, but there is a secondary main couple, Miyu the shamanness and Min Jae the son of the local lord, Lord Park.

Long ago, Tae’s father was so filled with greed that he called down a curse on his own son to gain wealth and power.  Tae’s soul cursing him to spend eternity as a phantom roaming the world alone  in return for the father for getting what he desired.
But, the magical dragons took pity on Tae and gave him the gift of humanity by day so he only had to be a phantom by night.

Centuries later, another greedy man for wealth and power, Lord Park, is bleeding his villagers dry through impossible rents and dishonest dealings.  Eun Na’s family are poor loggers and they are desperate to earn their living and keep up with the increasing rent and demands from cruel Lord Park.  Then an injury to her strong father leaves Eun Na no choice, but to strike a bargain with the devilish Lord Park.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Tae is captivated by Eun Na’s strength in the face of adversity and she, with him for his kindness, support, and help.  Lord Park’s idle son, Min Jae has his eyes opened to what others are suffering at his father’s hand when he becomes friends with Eun Na and the village shaman Miyu.  Miyu is attracted to Min Tae, but knows its hopeless even if her young dragon companion predicts a different future.

I love reading fairytales, folk tales and variations on them so this magical story captivated me.  The underlying tales were new to me even if the themes were familiar.  I loved seeing the underdogs fight against a villain.  It was not easy and definitely came with some tragedy.

The writing took a bit for me to adjust and felt awkward at first especially when it shifted from point of view quickly between the four main players and the indicators of the shift were tough to see.  But, once I caught on, I was able to sink into the story and find it a delightful surprise.  I didn’t get as much Korean culture as I was hoping, but there were bits and I enjoyed what I got and led me to look up details.

This was a heartfelt story with a strong finish.  I can definitely recommend it to those looking for a story based on mythology or fantasy with a strong romance element and a humorous, whimsical dragon.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #48
Romance-opoly #29 Faraway Land (fantasy romance)

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Lindy@ A Bookish EscapeLolaCarole raeNadeneMelissa (Books and Things) Recent comment authors
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Melliane
Guest

I’ve never read something with this setting so I’m intrigued!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I hadn’t either, but I’ll be looking for more from the land of Korea after this. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
Guest

I don’t think that I have read anything quite like this one. Sounds interesting! Great review, Sophia Rose!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I snagged it as a freebie a few years back because it struck me as unique, too. I was glad to get the chance at it, Carole.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

That sounds emotional but good. I’m glad you liked it. It’s different from what I usually read.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was really different for me, too, but it was a good gamble. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart
Guest

I’m glad it was enjoyable. It sounds different and that is often nice, a change of pace. You could use it for dragon on the cover in COYER.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was a nice change of pace. Jumped out when I was looking for stories with Asian characters.

Buahaha! It’s funny you mention using it for COYER. After I got the COYER list, I found four books I had just read right before COYER that would have given me big points. Oh well…

Lover Of Romance
Guest

oh this one sounds so interesting here!! I love the Asian culture and there aren’t that many Asian romances out there so I grab them up wherever I can find them. Going to look into this one here.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It’s a fun Korean fantasy romance. I’m glad I came across it.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

Fairy tales do come with a bit of tragedy, even the Disney versions mix it in there. Sometimes I’m surprised knowing it’s supposed to be for kids. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Very good point! 🙂 And, the old-style fairytales were scary enough to read as an adult let alone as a child.

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland
Guest

I love the cover. It’s too bad this book didn’t show as much Korean culture as you were hoping, but the premise looks interesting and I like that it reads like a fairytale.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, the cover is great. I think its been changed since I got the book, but only a little.
I would have enjoyed learning more, but at least it had some Koren history and culture to it. Hope you like it if you get the chance.

Melissa (Books and Things)
Guest

I do enjoy folktales like this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Just checked and sad it is no longer free. I still may consider this one. Brilly review.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Same here. The setting may be different, but the themes were recognizable.

Bummer about not being free any more. Maybe it will go up free again later.

Nadene
Guest

I have never read anything like this before. The cover is unique and the story sounds fascinating.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was a unique one for me, too. I had a good time trying something new in a culture I was not familiar with.

Carole rae
Guest

Random, but awesome find! I am curious!

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL, perhaps just a little random. 🙂 Glad to pique your curiosity, Carole.

Lola
Guest

That sounds fun how it reads like a fairytale and also has some Korean culture and world added in. I don’t think I’ve read many books with Korean culture or set in that country, although I’ve read some books with other Asian cultures or set in those countries. Glad to hear this was a good one with some romance and a fun dragon character.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, it was a neat one with the Korean setting and mythology.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Guest

I love multicultural fairytales/folklore! This one sounds good, but like it would be heard to follow along with four different viewpoints. I love when the underdogs band together against the villain too! I’m glad you enjoyed it Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was something different and I was glad to give it a go. I learned a bit more about Korean culture and cheered on the good guys. 🙂