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The Long Way Paperback – October 2, 2013
"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
I am always driven to promote literary fiction I think is really worthwhile from my own reading and study. But, in this case, I just love this book from my heart along with and beside my mind. It engaged me in the type of complete imaginative immersion that has made reading the only activity that could excite my mind and soothe my spirit consistently since as a young girl I finally read well enough to spend hours and hours engrossed in novels (nothing hard or deep for my age--Sweet Valley High, Baby-Sitter's Club, etc).
This is just a good old-fashioned, mind-transporting tale. I always enjoy reading, but this gave me a pure, unmitigated pleasure I associate with another time, place...self even!
The very wide relatability and endearing nature of the young girl we meet at the start of the story and follow throughout the adventures of The Long Way certainly was instrumental in captivating my imagination and emotional investment. Also, it's really kind of magical how this brainchild of the writers takes the reader on such a varied and rich adventure in only 259 numbered pages, in my copy anyhow...The title must be at least partly ironic because it felt a bit more epic than not to me...the novel opens one kind of story in a given environment, which bears no resemblance to the circumstances surrounding the action of the last few pages -- that's for sure!Read more ›
Chi-yen is a girl in 19th century Canton who lives in a brothel as a servant girl,where life is harsh and often brutal and even more so for someone whose blue eyes clearly tell the world that she is mixed race due to her prostitue mother becoming pregnant by a foreigner.
Chi-Yen cant remember much about her mother apart from some words of wisdom she shared with her
"To live a happy life you must always be the second ugliest girl in the house."
So she keeps ugly and this plan works well enough until her mothers strategy fails and she is noticed by a costumer there is only one thing to do- run away but of course she has nowhere to go so she returns pretty soon.
But luckily she is given a respite from having become a prostitute for a while.
Then we meet Sin-Feng who is a young apprentice monk at the Temple of Seven Dragons who often has to come by the brothel to pick up his master Liu Kun who is always intoxicated either from opium or alcohol.
All their lives are upset when there is a rebellion against the western foreigners living in the city and The temple of the Seven Dragons is destroyed,the monks killed and the treasure of the monks is sought by the evil Basil Malvenue (names to run away from really fast) who is on a mission to secure the it at all costs on behalf of Queen Victoria
Escaping with the treasure that is actually dragons egg and with instructions to take it to San Francisco they are on their way to the new country pursued by Basil Malvenue.
This was a lot more dull than I expected.Read more ›
Ray and Vannier have filled the novel with an impressive amount of historical detail. This is a secret history, and they have made the effort to ensure the history is as accurate as a story with dragons can be. They breath life into both their Chinese and Old West settings, making them feel dirty, gritty, dangerous, and, most importantly, real. Equal care has been taken with Chi-Yen. We meet her as a downtrodden, world-weary preteen, wise and clever beyond her years. Her journey is the backbone of the novel. The reader experiences events largely as she does. Sin-Feng and Liu Kun are less well drawn. The relationship between the three is strained and develops largely unseen.
The novel covers a large span of time and geography. This is one of its strengths, but also its greatest weakness. The plot is not as intricate or as well realized as either the setting or the characters, and on several occasions jumps forward in time suddenly. This was slightly jarring but didn't adversely effect the flow of the story. During the gap, however, all three of the main character, and even the villain, undergo drastic changes and development that is unfortunately glossed over.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel is an original take on the Wild West, Chinese culture and religion, 19th century British imperialism, martial arts and of course, dragons! Read morePublished 18 months ago by PaulaD
I was given a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A wonderful historical fantasy about how magic can come into anyone's life and change it... Read more
'The Long Road' has all the ingredients to be a better book, but when it was all said and done, I found it to be slightly lacking. I can't put my finger on why. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Wayne A McCoy
This is the latest in a long line of books about Chinese immigrants to the USA in the 1800s. It is not one of the best. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Anonymouse
I loved this book! It was a great read, a bit reminiscent of His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, but with a story all its own. Read morePublished 21 months ago by DragonflyDebbi
I originally picked this up when I didn't have enough time to get lost in a book; this proved to be a terrible mistake. Read morePublished 22 months ago by L. Matava
A story about a girl and a dragon. I don't understand the reviewers who complain it's too much fantasy for those who like history fiction and too much history fiction in it to... Read morePublished 22 months ago by T. B.
Enchanting story of a young woman’s journey from a horrible childhood to become an independent, bright and strong woman. Love the fanciful elements of the story. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
A must read for Fantasy/Sci-fi Fans, The Long Way is delightful and I look forward to more from these authors.Published on February 11, 2014 by Dan M Elliot