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Jade Man's Skin (Moshui, the Books of Stone and Water Series #2)

Jade Man's Skin (Moshui, the Books of Stone and Water Series #2)

4.5 14
by Daniel Fox

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In this soaring epic, Daniel Fox weaves the ancient myths and legends of feudal China into a fantasy world of brutal war and brittle passion, immortal gods and mystical creatures.
With the long-chained dragon now free and the rebels’ invasion smashed by her exultant fury, the balance of power has changed. Young emperor Chien Hua is no longer


In this soaring epic, Daniel Fox weaves the ancient myths and legends of feudal China into a fantasy world of brutal war and brittle passion, immortal gods and mystical creatures.
With the long-chained dragon now free and the rebels’ invasion smashed by her exultant fury, the balance of power has changed. Young emperor Chien Hua is no longer struggling for survival; now he is ambitious to strike back. As treacherous General Ping Wen whispers in the emperor’s ear, not even Chien Hua’s beloved concubine or his most trusted bodyguard can reason with him. Worse, prolonged exposure to magical jade is changing him radically: His increasingly godlike powers are making him dangerously rash.

But with the dragon patrolling the skies above and the strait beneath, the emperor’s forces have no hope of launching a counterattack—until a goddess moves to interfere. Yet neither the clash of armies nor the opposing wills of goddess and dragon can decide ultimate victory or defeat. The fate of the war lies in the blood-deep bonds between the dragon and the boy Han, her jailer and her liberator—and in the prices both will pay for their freedom.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Building on the brilliantly subtle groundwork laid in 2009’s Dragon in Chains, Fox’s Chinese fantasy series continues as the now-unchained dragon threatens human civilization. Han, the one-time apprentice scribe who freed the dragon, is still tied to her mind. The young emperor, in exile on the island of Taishu, finds the beast is both protector and jailer, while general-turned-pirate Li Ton discovers the hard way that he has other, more immediate enemies from his past. When a sea goddess intervenes, she is no friend of the dragon, but she may be even less kind to the people. Readers who enjoyed Fox’s delicate descriptions and leisurely prose will be thrilled to find more of the same, along with greater depth of story as the numerous characters are pulled together by schemes and destiny. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The dragon once chained in the straits of Taishu now flies free, seeking revenge yet still controlled by a slave boy's mind. As civil war rages, a deposed emperor and his allies attempt to thwart the plans of an ambitious general. A wide variety of characters, from a ruthless pirate captain to a beautiful and politically savvy imperial concubine, provide multiple viewpoints to this depiction of a land in turmoil and the people who try to restore it to harmony. VERDICT Fox's love of all things Chinese shines through this sequel to Dragon in Chains, which should appeal to fans of Asian-themed fantasy such as Lian Hearne's Across the Nightingale Floor and Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds.
From the Publisher
“High-stakes action, well drawn characters, and a gorgeously painted landscape. This is the kind of fantasy I love to read.”—Kate Elliott, author of Crown of Stars

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Moshui, the Books of Stone and Water Series , #2
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
2 MB

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Han flew, behind the dragon’s eyes.

He didn’t ride her, no. His body was somewhere else, below, and she would eat it if she could. Eat him.

As it turned out, though, she couldn’t. She did try. But a little of him, the least little fragment of life that was himself sat somewhere within the enormity, the outrage, the cruelty of scale that was herself—and directed her just a touch, a veer away from what she most wanted, where she meant most harm.

He had willfully cut her chains, and they were still bound together. That didn’t seem fair, even to him. She was enraged past measure to have this puny passenger abiding in her head. Her thoughts were storms, if those were thoughts, if he understood her at all: banked like clouds but dense like solid water, more violent than the typhoon, churning and crashing together, flaring with a vicious light that meant no good to him or his.

She knew where he stood, and what he had done. He had cut her free, and watched her destroy the impertinence of ships on her waters—a whole fleet in shatters now, all their crews drowned or swallowed or clinging helplessly, hopelessly to turbulent wreckage. She had relished that, but he could feel the hint of doubt in her now. Had it really been her choice? Or had he pushed her to it, his little insolent hands in her head, nudging her anger, using her . . . ?

It was all for him now, that anger: a gift, his own. She brought it to him.

He stood on the Forge, at the highest peak of that mountain-tip where it jutted from the strait, with the only people he cared about in the world: love and fear and respect, unequally divided. They all cared about the dragon, necessarily; they all feared her.

All his awareness was with her, in the air. In her mind, in her temper as she soared, as she spied, as she stooped like a hawk, like a queen condescending to pick out the petty ones she would destroy.

As it turned out, though, she couldn’t harm him, or anyone in his shadow.

Not here, not now. Not yet.

Not quite.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Daniel Fox is a British writer who first went to Taiwan at the millennium and became obsessed, to the point of learning Mandarin and writing about the country in three different genres. Before this he had published a couple of dozen books and many hundreds of short stories, under a clutch of other names. He has also written poetry and plays. Some of this work has won awards.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Jade Man's Skin 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very sad it tells a true strory and little detales and how little willy felt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate this ......... wait yeah love and at the end i really hate it is so sad i had to get a new nook color because i cried at the end! You will HATE it : ( . $%$$&##%$&;$6%%*%%+-%5/%5-'37:4-:47'46'$&tfcdshg4&"35&! I really hate this see those those are bad 3$&##@$%$ words!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Honeykit @ Age: 4 Moons @ Gender: She-Kit @ Rank: Kit @ Mate: None @ Crush: Actually Has One! @ Kits: She Is One... @ Appearance: Pale Brown With White Paws, Amber Eyes, And Small Black Stripes @ Personality: Loyal, Gentle, Shy @ Kin: Stone ((Father)), Claw ((Mother)), Rose ((Sister)), Dove ((Sister)), Beetle ((Brother)) @ History: She Was Formaly Named Honey And Lived With Her Family As A Band Of Rouges. Her Father, Stone, Died During A Fox Attack. Claw Then Gave Dove And Rose To Tribe Cats To Live There. They Were Named Rose That Blooms At Summer And Dove That Rides On Wind. Claw Was About To Give Honey And Beetle To The Tribe Cats, But They Both Ran Away. During That, Beetle Was Hit And Killed By An Monster. Honey Then Saw Twolegs Emerging From The Monster And Took Honey And Beetle To A Place Where Twolegs Get Healed. Beetle Was Already Dead. They Give Honey To A Twoleg Kit, But Honey Escaped During Her Trip In A Monster With The Twoleg Kit. Honey Then Found Jadeclan And Decided To Join, Willing To Change Her Name To Honeykit And Destined To Be A Great Leader Someday. @@@
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name-Griffinbeak••Gender-Male••Description-Sturdy brown tabby tom with blue eyes.••Personality-Loyal and friendly.••Mate/Crush-None
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: bluepelt. Gender: tom. Description: handsome tom with greyish blue fur and green eyes. Crush: not telling but i do. Mate: none yet. Kits: would love some kits. History: mother an father left me to die for but i survived.
DeborahJRoss More than 1 year ago
It's hard to describe this book, second in "Moshui, The Books of Stone and Water" in anything less than superlatives. It's a rare second book (the first being Dragon in Chains) that stands so well on its own. There's no trace of "middle book syndrome," the let-down of a volume that is essentially all development. Jade Man's Skin has its own integrity, gorgeous prose, action that ranges from subtle to gritty to expansive. The ending was so perfect, so satisfying, that if the story ends there (which it does not), I would have been completely satisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Dragon in Chains is no longer locked in the Straits of Taishu. Instead she soars in the sky free with an obsession to take her vengeance on those who chained it. However, the beast has not been able to rid itself of her liberator, Han the apprentice scribe who remains telepathically tied to the dragon. At the same the exiled young Emperor remains alive because of the dragon, but also feels like a bird in a gilded cage as he is trapped in the mountains of Taishu Island by his enemies and the beast. He is changing due to jade exposure that leaves him more powerful, angrier and frustrated as he no longer wants to hide in the mountains. His first step back is taking control of the city of Taishu as the Emperor strikes back. General Ping Wen believes capturing the Jade Throne is his first step to what he should be - Godhood. Besides counting his losses over the years, pirate Captain Li Ton tries to take over the military as the civil war continues unabated. The exiled Emperor's favorite concubine Lady Mei Feng is also in the mix cleverly out maneuvering the ambitious general. However, out of the sea comes the Li-Goddess who comes after the dragon, but collateral damage of people is no concern to her. The second medieval fantasy captures the essence of Chinese mythology with an even deeper more complicated tale than the Dragon in Chains. The story line is fast-paced with several subplots brewing as various individuals want power; some want godhood power. The point of view changes, but never slows down as the dragon unchained is a strong tale as the conflict expands. Harriet Klausner