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… See more details below

Overview

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.

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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

ISBN-13:
9780345519115
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/16/2010
Series:
Moshui, the Books of Stone and Water Series , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
979,541
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.

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