Review: The Dragon and the Lotus by Joseph Lewis

Posted 25 August, 2012 by Pushy in Danny's Book Review, Pushy / 8 Comments

The Dragon and the Lotus by Joseph Robert LewisThe Dragon and the Lotus

Genre: Historical Reboot Fantasy
Publication: October 11th, 2011
Digital Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords
synopsis from Goodreads


As a child in Kathmandu, Asha was bitten by a dragon and gained the ability to hear the souls of all living things. Years later in India, she uses her strange gift and her training as an herbalist to save people possessed by ghosts, poisoned by legendary beasts, and tortured by the cruel doctors of Ming. And to fight the occasional bear or tiger, of course.

With the help of a beautiful blind nun and a sleepy little mongoose, Asha confronts both victims and predators, including the man who stole her childhood and killed her lover. But when she journeys into the west, Asha discovers that there are fates worse than death and there are human monsters that can only be defeated by a woman with the strength of a dragon.

Throw your history book out the window, because Joseph Robert Lewis has rewritten it with fantastical magic and superb prose!

Asha, the kick ass heroine!

In this book we meet the most awesome character, Asha, sort of like Cain from the TV show Kung Fu but only if he were tougher, still in the Orient and a chick! We meet Asha as she wanders through the land, helping those she can, but seemingly directionless in her wanderings. She comes upon a sort of Buddhist nun, asleep in and literally enmeshed with the secluded forest around her. When she frees the nun, Asha gains a traveling companion and an interesting counter point to her dark and brooding nature.

As we learn more about Asha and her past, we realize she’s traveling with a purpose, to avenge herself on the evil man who calls himself a healer but is little more than a mad scientist spreading destruction and death in his wake.

The World As We Know It

I adored the world building in this book! Starting off with the premise of Earth and then taking a sort of alternate reality view of it, Joseph Robert Lewis crafts a world unlike one I’ve ever read. Part mythology, part fantasy, with even a hint of Steampunk, the Other Earth saga is set in a richly conceived and lushly described landscape. I loved the allusions, in both name and story, that Lewis weaves into Asha’s story and those of the people she meets. With hints of Homer’s Odyssey and the Bhagavad Gita juxtaposed against early technology and elements of fantasy, Lewis makes this unusual mix work. It’s ornate and absolutely fascinating.

First Things Last

My only complaint is that I picked this series up near the end. While this book does stand on it’s own, I’m the sort of reader who enjoys knowing all the back history and to do that, I really would have needed to the previous six books. It’s a great introduction to the world, but for those, like me, who enjoy following the linear arc of a storyline, you may prefer to do yourself the favor of starting with The Burning Sky, Book One of the Halcyon Series, the first of three series in the Other Earth saga.

Bewitched Rating


Bottom Line

Amazing fantasy and historical fiction rolled up into one, The Dragon and the Lotus is a treat not to be missed!


Of the three genres mixed together in this series, Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Steampunk, which is your favorite and why? Let me know in the comments!

Now go and get lost…in a book!
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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.



8 Responses to “Review: The Dragon and the Lotus by Joseph Lewis”

  1. Oh, is this related to his Halcyon series? I got his first two of it for review. I read book 2 first (The Broken Sword) which I enjoyed and will be reading The Burning Sky next. I will have to look into this one after I finish Halcyon.
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    Pushy 8/28/2012

    Yes and it was so fascinating! I hope you enjoy the earlier books!!
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  2. I would say historical,fiction is my fav but I am getting so I really like steampunk. I am glad that this was still enjoyable despite not having read the others. I am personally enjoying all these new blends.
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    Pushy 8/28/2012

    I adore historical fiction, so loved that aspect, and the fantasy elements as well. And you’re right, there’s more blending out there these days and it’s so fun!!
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  3. This sounds awesome Pushy and I envy your bravery in reading the sixth book in a series without having read the others. I am a coward and will check out book one..LOL
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    Pushy 8/28/2012

    Thanks, kimba!! And don’t feel cowardly, I would naturally start at the beginning if I hadn’t been given this book to review. I’m just thankful I got the chance to read it!
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