Snake (The Five Ancestors Series #3)

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Seh is a snake-style master and a keeper of secrets. Close-lipped and ever-watchful, he has used his highly attuned senses to collect information about his brothers, his temple, and even Grandmaster. Now, with the temple and Grandmaster gone, Seh sheds his orange robe like an old skin, joins a bandit gang, and meets a mysterious woman whose name means Cobra—all the while trying to stay one step ahead of vengeful Ying!

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Snake (The Five Ancestors Series #3)

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Seh is a snake-style master and a keeper of secrets. Close-lipped and ever-watchful, he has used his highly attuned senses to collect information about his brothers, his temple, and even Grandmaster. Now, with the temple and Grandmaster gone, Seh sheds his orange robe like an old skin, joins a bandit gang, and meets a mysterious woman whose name means Cobra—all the while trying to stay one step ahead of vengeful Ying!

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking on a third orphan of the quintet who were living at Cangzhen Temple with their Grandmaster, Jeff Stone continues his ("riveting," in PW's words in a starred review) Five Ancestors series with Snake, focusing on 12-year-old Seh after the temple's destruction. Seh seeks answers and attempts to avoid terrifying Ying. Fans of the series' signature martial arts and mind games will find plenty more here. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Without having read the other titles in "The Five Ancestors" series, this could easily be one of the worst books this reviewer has even read. Sorry, but this book is really not for everyone, or anyone, for that matter. Too many characters, too much action—it is difficult to keep track where in the story you are, or who anyone is. The graphic violence is relentless as well as disturbing. Where does Stone get these ideas and who does he think finds them interesting or engaging? Martial arts enthusiasts may pick up this book, but hopefully will soon put it down when they realize their teachings of respect and honor are challenged almost immediately. After reading the entire book (which thankfully is only 193 pages with short chapters), it is a stretch to focus on what this book is about; it is such a struggle to piece together the characters and plot. There are dragon scrolls. People fight and are killed. Some are pursued by bandits. Some are cannibals. There are strange characters andeven stranger animals—or are they really people? It is a whole other world that probably should not be delved into or presented in such a broad spectrum. 2006, Random House, and Ages 9 to 12.
—Elizabeth Young
Kirkus Reviews
The third volume of a projected seven in Stone's 17th-century kung-fu epic adds even more characters to an already-unwieldy cast but does move the plot forward an inch or so amid much journeying back and forth, continuing revelations about the parentage of the five young monks, violent encounters and astounding feats of martial arts. The focus here is on Seh, whose Snake style manifests itself in a secretive nature and great sensitivity to the "chi" of others. With fellow monks Fu and Malao, Seh witnesses the widespread destruction and other injustices sanctioned by the new Emperor, then travels to the city of Kaifeng where rebellion is brewing. Shot through with developing intrigues, sudden reversals and amusing, sometimes modern-sounding banter ("You think?"), this will go down as easily as a B-grade martial-arts flick-but despite frequent references to past events, it will be more comprehensible to readers of the preceding episodes. (Fantasy. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375830754
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/14/2006
  • Series: Five Ancestors Series , #3
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.63 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Stone
Jeff Stone lives in the Midwest with his wife, their two children, and a python named Yokwan. He holds a black belt in Shaolin-Do kung fu. Like the Five Ancestors, he was adopted as an infant. He began searching for his birth parents when he was 18 and found them 15 years later. He is hard at work on the Five Ancestors #5.
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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Eight-year-old Seh slid his lanky body along the enormous rafter high above the Cangzhen banquet table, doing his best to disturb as little dust as possible. Even in a room as dark as this, Grandmaster would notice a single particle drifting toward the floor. Grandmaster was that good.

But Seh was better. As long as he didn’t lose focus.

Once in position, Seh stretched to his full length and flattened himself against the top of the wooden beam. He began to slow his breathing. His heart rate slowed to that of a hibernating reptile beneath a sheet of ice. She began to wait.

An hour later, Grandmaster entered the room. Although Grandmaster didn’t say a word, Seh knew exactly who it was.He sensed powerful chi–life energy– radiating from Grandmaster’s body like heat from the sun.

Seh slowed his breathing further. He needed to keep his heart rate as slow as possible so that the chi coursing through his own nervous system would not alert Grandmaster to his presence. As long as he remained calm, Grandmaster would not detect him. Dragon-style kung fu masters like Grandmaster and Seh’s brother Long possessed tremendous amounts of chi, but they weren’t particularly good at detecting it in others. Snake stylists like Seh, however, were masters at detecting the most minute amounts in any living creature.

As Grandmaster stepped farther into the hall, She heard a second man stop in the doorway. Seh took a long, slow breath.

Seh focused on the visitor and noticed something strange. The man seemed to possess no chi at all, which was impossible. All living things possessed chi. This could mean only one thing–Grandmaster’s visitor was masking his, something only snake-style kung fu masters knew how to do. And the only snake-style master to ever visit Grandmaster in the middle of the night was–One corner of Seh’s mouth slid down his long face in a lopsided frown. He peeked over the rafter toward the moonlit doorway and his eyes confirmed what the pit of his stomach already knew. Grandmaster’s visitor was a man named Mong, a local bandit leader. Mong meant “python” in Cantonese. Seh had had more than one humiliating encounter with the gigantic snake-style kung fu master over the years, and he had no interest in seeing the man again.

Grandmaster turned to Mong and whispered, “Do you sense that we are alone?”

Seh remained perfectly still and watched Mong scan the room. Seh was enshrouded in darkness and positioned at a severe angle from the doorway. He was certain he was invisible. Yet when Mong’s eyes hesitated as they passed over the rafter, Seh knew he had been discovered. Mong had sensed his chi. Seh was about to begin his retreat when Mong turned toward Grandmaster.

“Yes, we are alone,” Mong said. “Nothing here but the occasional small pest.” Mong entered the hall and closed the doors behind him.

Seh clenched his teeth. Pest? he thought. Seh wondered whether Mong was trying to make him angry so that his heart rate would rise and he’d reveal himself. There was nothing Seh hated more than getting caught when he was sneaking around.

Seh did his best to stay calm. He needed to stay focused.He suspected that Grandmaster and Mong were both dealers of secrets. They would trade them like other people traded gold for silk or silver for swords. She wanted those secrets. Especially if they involved him and his brothers–and Seh had a hunch they would.

“What news do you bring?” Grandmaster asked Mong. “And what might you require in return for sharing it?”

“I have no new information,” Mong replied. “This visit is purely personal.”

Grandmaster nodded. “The boys are progressing well,” he said. “I suspect they’ll all be masters in record time. Though I worry about the maturity level of some of them. Fu and Malao in particular come to mind.”

Mong chuckled. “I imagine Fu and Malao could be a handful, especially if they’re together. How is Long doing?”

“Very well,” Grandmaster replied. “He is wise beyond his years.”

“That’s good,” Mong said. “And what about the girl?”

“Hok is progressing well, too.”

Seh nearly tumbled off the rafter. Hok? A girl? He took a long, slow breath. Mong was trying to break his concentration, and that last bit of information had nearly done it. But Seh was certain he could remain calm, no matter what Mong said next.

He was wrong.

“And what about my son?” Mong asked.

No . . . , Seh thought. It can’t be. . . . He swallowed hard as his heart began to beat in his throat. He couldn’t control it. He glared down at Mong, wondering if it was a trick.

It wasn’t.

Grandmaster glanced up at the beam. “Seh is also progressing well. Perhaps too well. I worry about him most of all.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 86 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Anomyus

    An odd book that I understood some, but not the whole book. Another fresh book from the art of Jeff Stone, and the whole series is the best books I've read for a long time. This book deserves this rating. P.S: The stronghold was the best part of the book, also I would recomend to any of my friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Best book ever

    NICE WORK DUDE

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Rena

    She grinned, shaking her head.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    SLYTHERIN COMMON ROOM

    Here

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Draco

    *Ate the muffin.*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 27, 2014

    Each book in this series pulls the story closer together to give

    Each book in this series pulls the story closer together to give you the full picutre of what is taking place. So far, I think Seh may be my favorite character.....him and his little critter up his sleeve. Not quite a exciting as the others but answered alot of questions that had been building up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Greatbook

    Greatbook

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Goldenpaw

    "Ok..." He said. "Dad."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Curse

    (Looks at Thistlefang, and then goes after the lion)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Silverstorm

    Help me shadow paw. He sprints away back to camp

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Thistlefang

    Takes a step baxk. "Im not afraid of you either." He turns and pads yo his own clan. "We are victorioys."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Cemetery

    Moamed and walked away

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Lionsroar

    Well we better go son.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Blueripple

    Gets thistlefang off of her after he slightly hurts my neck. Slowly, i decide to get away from these other cats and pads to camp. I leave thistlefang alone as i pad out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Anthony

    Growled. Ran out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Rose to Rebeca

    Im killing that damned snake

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Vendom

    He slithered in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    DarkThunder1

    What! No way! Dude i got banned from talking on 1st and 3rd result for trying to give you my email!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Spiritheart&hearts

    Bye she said padding off good luck to u littlepaw and ummmm if u do change your mind and want to join eclipseclan then u r always welcome goodbye old friend she said friendly!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    STOP

    Stop talking about dumb warriors clans. I for one want to read real reviews. If u want to talk about warriors go to a warriors book review. Also that person isnt a moron if they said it seems good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews

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