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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 16 reviews
on August 7, 2016
Engaging fiction set in ancient China is hard to come by (I'm a rabid fan of Robert Van Gulik's Judge Dee) so I assuage my hunger with tales set in alternate or fantasy Chinas. There are very few authors who can write good fantasy AND evoke the authentic atmosphere of ancient China. Guy Gavriel Kay and Barry Hughart are the best, in my opinion. Daniel Fox does reasonably well in this first book of the Moshui series. Well enough that I'm willing to buy the other two books.

He never calls the empire in this story "China", but the details, motifs, folk beliefs, and behaviors are all spot on. The details Fox gets right are the ones most Western authors miss. Yes, there are fantastical elements that are not strictly Chinese, but the feel I was looking for was there. I enjoyed his story.
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on April 8, 2010
A young emperor has fled his country to the island where jade is mined, a mineral that gives him strength. He has his generals, his army, his mother...and a rebel army across the water. Beneath the water is a dragon, chained below by the monks on the island known as the Forge, monks who must maintain the chains to keep the dragon from rising. On the water is an old fisherman and his granddaughter, a young woman who has drawn the attention of the emperor. And also on the water is a dangerous pirate, who has slaughtered the monks the keep the dragon chained. Will the dragon be freed?

This book is exciting and magical and contains surprises. The characters pull you into their lives and make you care what happens in their world. I highly recommend it.
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on September 26, 2013
I really enjoyed this first book in trilogy but the other two were increasingly deficient in plot & character development... author just couldn't sustain this book's interest... still I would recommend this title....
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on July 12, 2009
Told from the point of view of several people, including Han, the scribes boy enslaved by a pirate and spelled to hold a dragon chained below the ocean, Mei Feng, a fisher girl turned emperor's friend and concubine, and Yu Shan, a jade miner with powers granted by special jade properties, this is a marvelous tale. An emperor in exile, a populace brutalized by war, a pirate who was once someone else,a ll roiling about a medieval China that never was, but should have been.
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on April 15, 2010
The book was interesting but every few chapters new characters were introduced. I found it somewhat difficult to keep everyone separate. The characters seem to be well thought out, but it is obvious the author was setting up his sequels. I have bought the second book and am hoping for a little more depth in the characters and the plot. I felt like I was skimming the surface.
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