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Hidden Cities (Moshui: The Books of Stone and Water) Paperback – March 22, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The conclusion of Fox's trilogy set in a magical version of ancient China (Dragon in Chains; Jade Man's Skin) mixes action with scenes that feel like timeless, almost perfect moments. The emperor is exiled, and his pregnant beloved is being targeted by assassins. Rebels battle for control of the nation. An island-dwelling dragon is linked to the boy Han in ways neither understands, and an old man bargains with the dragon for access to the sea in which she was once imprisoned. While some try remaking the dragon's chains, others learn that the best way to escape their own bonds is to relax. The result is an oddly pleasing feel of unhurried harmony even while the world seems ready to tear itself apart. The story and conclusion alike retain Fox's hallmark graceful prose and pace. (Apr.)
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Review

“Magnificent . . . This series ranges from imperial intrigue to ocean-spanning magic to the smallest lives.”—Jay Lake, author of Pinion

"[Hidden Cities] mixes action with scenes that feel like timeless, almost perfect moments...The result is an oddly pleasing feel of unhurried harmony even while the world seems ready to tear itself apart. The story and conclusion alike retain Fox's hallmark graceful prose and pace." —Publishers Weekly

“A rising star . . . With talent like Fox’s, the future of fantasy is in good hands.”—Tanith Lee, on Dragon in Chains
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Product Details

  • Series: Moshui: The Books of Stone and Water
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345503031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345503039
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,888,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rosedragon57 on September 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I HAVE ENJOYED ALL OF THE MOSHUI BOOKS. I DON'T RECOMMEND THEM FOR THE FAINT OF HEART BECAUSE THE GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENCE ARE HISTORICALLY CORRECT. THE INTERACTIONS OF THE CHARACTERS IS UNEXPECTED AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES TO SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.
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Format: Paperback
Daniel Fox juggles a host of narrators in "Hidden Cities" (Del Rey, $15, 416 pages), but like many authors, he gives his readers too much credit and assumes they will immediately remember everything about all of them. Unfortunately, it takes a hundred pages or so to get back up to speed in this series about an alternate Taiwan with goddesses, dragons and jade that's infused with life-giving powers.

Fox also stretches his wings as a writer, and his forays into a more poetic style sometimes work, and sometimes don't - but the depth of his characters, who often confound their own expectations, gives the series a bit of heft not usually found in these kinds of fantasies. That said, the pace slowed in "Hidden Cities" compared to "Jade Man's Skin" and "Dragon in Chains," and it seems we may be two books away from the conclusion of what promises to become a saga about a young emperor hoping to hold off various rebels and reclaim the throne of China.
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Format: Paperback
Emperor Chien Hua savors the victory that has given him back Santung as the Jaded rebels led by Yu Shang flee the city. However, the Emperor ignores his pregnant concubine Mei Feng when she warns him they were fortunate to win a battle. Assassins including some from within the emperor's most trusted aids try to kill his pregnant loved one while the rebel insurrection grows stronger daily and may win control of the nation in the civil war.

As General Ping Wen governs Santung in the Emperor's name, he plots the downfall and demise of Chien and the pregnant concubine. His chances are improving greatly due to Tien the healer who has found ancient mage tomes.

Meanwhile an island trapped raging dragon trapped in chains by the sea links with young Han; neither grasps the significance of their bonding relationship at this time except both want to escape the isle imprisonment. The elderly on the island plead with the dragon for a chance to reach the sea. All including the dragon try to be free, but none seem to achieve this as war roars across the empire.

The final medieval Chinese mythos fantasy (see Dragon in Chains and Jade Man's Skin) is a terrific thriller that hooks the audience from the opening seemingly calm "Lord of the Feet" scene that proves to be the eye of the storm as the civil war rages with treachery weakening both sides. The story line contains a vivid sense of being caught in the middle of non-stop action that will have readers feel transported tin time and place. With a powerful ensemble cast in which Daniel Fox slyly switches perspective without missing a beat, fans will appreciate the engaging finish to one of the best refreshing fantasy sagas in recent years.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The intricacy, artistry, and sheer beauty of Mr. Fox's prose draws you in, deeper and deeper. Definitely a can't-put-it-down book, and one that will only get better with repeated readings,
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