by L.G. Bass
Sign of the Qin (Outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh #1)
Hyperion, May, 2004.
Hardcover, 383 pages.
In ancient China, a cruel Emperor rules his country with an iron hand. The people are starving, the taxes are high and the aristocrats live lives of luxury and indulgence. When the Emperor's first son is born, events are set in motion which will change the world. For little Prince Zong has been born with the sign of the Qin -- the sign of an outlaw -- much to his father's disgust. But to the inhabitants of Heaven, the mark means something else entirely -- that the boy is the reincarnation of the Starlord who must unlock the kung fu secrets of the Twelve Scrolls and save the earth from destruction by Yamu, the Lord of the Dead. When the Emperor decides to assassinate Prince Zong, magical guardians are sent to rescue him so that he can grow up and fulfill his destiny. A calabash-bearing monk, who is covered in prophetic, moving tattoos and his nemesis, the trickster monkey who longs for immortality, must join forces to assist the little Starlord in his quest.
L.G. Bass draws upon Chinese mythology and her own, considerable imagination to create a world of wonder, dragons, demons, fairies, magic and desperate battles. Written in a lyrical and engaging style, the story transports the reader to a complex world where the outcome of the eternal battle between good and evil is far from certain. The trickster Monkey, the tattooed monk and Silver Lotus, the exiled mother of the little Starlord are all vivid, energetic characters who come to life in this original and vastly entertaining book, which is the first in a projected trilogy.
Sign of the Qin (Outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh #1) is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the May-June, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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