Five Odd Honors

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The Thirteen Orphans and their allies have opened the ninth gate into the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice . . . and discover that the Lands have been altered almost beyond recognition, transformed by magic into an apparently uninhabited world where land shifts beneath one’s feet and fire burns blue.  Investigating, the Orphans learn that the Center of the world is sealed behind nearly-impassable barriers composed of each of the five elements of Chinese myth.  Combining ancient and modern magics, a ...

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Five Odd Honors

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Overview

The Thirteen Orphans and their allies have opened the ninth gate into the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice . . . and discover that the Lands have been altered almost beyond recognition, transformed by magic into an apparently uninhabited world where land shifts beneath one’s feet and fire burns blue.  Investigating, the Orphans learn that the Center of the world is sealed behind nearly-impassable barriers composed of each of the five elements of Chinese myth.  Combining ancient and modern magics, a scouting party penetrates the barriers, only to be captured and given over to tortures designed to separate the Orphans from their magical abilities. 

On Earth, Pearl Bright, the Tiger, is attacked—is this treachery by our world’s magical traditions or has one of the Orphans betrayed her?  Brenda Morris learns of the Orphans’ dangers when it is nearly too late—but along with the sidhe, who are drawn to her Irish heritage, Brenda risks her life to help rescue those trapped in the Lands.  

A story of betrayal and redemption, of bravery in the face of terror, and of loyalty and hatred that reach beyond the grave, Five Odd Honors continues Jane Lindskold’s stunning Breaking the Wall series.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
When the Thirteen Orphans and their allies succeed in opening the Ninth Gate, hoping to pass into the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice and set right an unjust but necessary exile, they discover that a great evil has altered the Lands beyond recognition. When their scouting attempts lead to danger in both the Lands and modern Earth, young Brenda Morris must gather new allies to assist her in a desperate rescue attempt. VERDICT The author demonstrates a talent for creating believable characters, while her gentle humor adds depth and credence to a tale drawn from Chinese culture. This third volume in a series (Thirteen Orphans, Nine Gates) resolves many plot threads but leaves enough unfinished business to warrant further books involving the series characters and should appeal to fans of Charles de Lint's urban fantasies.
Publishers Weekly
In 2008's Thirteen Orphans and 2009's Nine Gates, Brenda Morris discovered she had magical abilities through her connection to the Chinese power of the Rat. At her father's insistence, she tries to return to college and her normal life, but the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice won't let go of her so easily. The Exiles have the chance to return to the Lands and bring five of their dead back to our world, but once they open a gate, they find the Lands have been corrupted by a powerful entity that now threatens other realms. While stepping up the offstage violence, Lindskold maintains a focus on Chinese folklore and interpersonal connection, and her characters work through their problems in dialogue as often as action. Urban fantasy fans looking for something a little more mellow will enjoy this foray. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Lindskold (Nine Gates, 2009, etc.) delivers the third installment in her Breaking the Wall series, continuing her urban-fantasy tale of magic and Chinese legends. The novel continues the adventures of Brenda Morris, a magic-wielding present-day descendant of beings from a hidden, magical world steeped in Chinese myth. The previous book involved the creation of nine gates in order to enter this hidden world, the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice. Here, the Ninth Gate is opened, but the Lands have been weirdly transformed by magic, their living inhabitants nowhere to be found, apparently trapped behind powerful elemental barriers. After her friends are also captured, Brenda becomes a key part of a daring rescue mission. The fictional world Lindskold has created is an engaging combination of modern life and Chinese mythical lore. However, readers should become familiar with the previous books in the series before picking up this one. This novel occasionally gets bogged down by its considerable exposition. That said, Lindskold's overall vision is unique, and fans of urban-fantasy with a magical focus will be satisfied. A fine continuation of a complex, one-of-a-kind urban-fantasy series.
From the Publisher
“A convincing tale of a young woman entering adulthood, assuming responsibility for herself and others, and making sometimes-wrenching decisions.  Recommend this one to [readers] who enjoy urban fantasies by authors such as Charles de Lint, Jim Butcher, or Lilith Saintcrow.”—School Library Journal on Thirteen Orphans

“Fans of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher will enjoy this intricate, beautifully written urban fantasy and will wait impatiently for the next installment.”—VOYA on Thirteen Orphans

“I highly recommend Thirteen Orphans to readers who like urban fantasy, stories where brains are as important as powers, and just a touch of romance.”—SFRevu.com on Thirteen Orphans

“[Recalls] stories by Chinese writers such as Amy Tan.  An interesting blend of the modern world and Chinese mythology. I look forward to the sequel.”—SciFi.com on Thirteen Orphans

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765317025
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Series: Breaking the Wall Series , #3
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

JANE LINDSKOLD is the bestselling author of the Firekeeper series, which began with Through Wolf’s Eyes and concluded with Wolf’s Blood, as well as many other fantasy novels.  She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The third Chinese zodiac urban fantasy is a superb thriller

    Only recently did college student Brenda Morris learn that The Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice existed based on what she thought were Chinese myths and that her ancestors crossed over from this alternate earth place (see Thirteen Orphans and Nine Gates). Although she has also learned she possesses the powers of the Zodiac Rat, her dad pleads with her to ignore her magical prowess and the encouragement of her Aunt Pearl the Dragon in order to return to school. He wants her to live a normal life anchored on this earth.

    However, the Orphans-Exiles seize an opportunity to open a gate into the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice in order to return with five of their dead so they can honor their late compatriots. However, once they open the ninth gate, the Thirteen Orphans are stunned as the Center is impenetrable and soon several are captured. On earth an assault of Pearl Bright the Tiger concerns Brenda who cannot get back into textbooks and lectures. When she learns what occurred in The Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice, her first thought is that of betrayal; her second rumination is that of mounting a rescue though her third consideration is what superior being could have achieved what has occurred in the Lands.

    The third Chinese zodiac urban fantasy is a superb thriller in which much of the violence is off page as the heroine and others discuss what happened and how to react. Thus the story line is character driven with much of the action passively discussed not actively performed. This approach provides reflective insight into Brenda, her family, and the Orphans while also enabling the reader to better comprehend the Chinese zodiac although the minute detail can turn overwhelming.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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