Tang Dynasty, China, 637 AD. When dragons were revered and some women became warriors...
Xiu has never left her village and can barely make dumplings, yet she finds herself in a secret training academy on the slopes of the Jade Mountain. She has no idea what she is in for, but the journey will change her completely. When Xiu's teacher reveals her destiny carved in bone, she refuses to believe it. Put through rigorous training, Xiu must become a warrior, but her movements are clumsy and she is plagued by self-doubt.
Each of the five girls training with her develops a unique talent, but Xiu remains searching for hers. While Xiu flounders, Qiao seems to do everything with effortless grace. Xiu's jealousy grows until she is propelled to act in a way she will later regret. Though she is not sure how, the red panda holds the key to developing her skills as a warrior.
As an army amasses to invade the Imperial city of Chang'An, Xiu and her elite corps of women warriors must ride into battle. Xiu will have to overcome her jealousy, face her fears and discover her unique strengths, or her enemy will bring the mighty Tang Dynasty to ruin.
How will Xiu uncover her talents? What role does the legend of the Azure Dragon have to play? Embark on a journey of adventure and transformation.
For readers who enjoyed the blend of legend and fantasy in The Celestial Kingdom Duology by Sue Lynn Tan and the historical adventure in Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin. Suitable for both Adult and Young Adult audiences.
An empowering story of friendship and courage in a lush historical setting with a splash of the speculative.
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About the Author
Red Panda Warrior
Malina Douglas concocts stories of familiar places with a dash of history and a sprinkling of the fantastic. Her publications include Wyldblood, Opia, The Periodical Forlorn, The Land Beyond the World, Rhythm & Bone, the Antipodean, and Metamorphose V2. She was nominated as the Gold Writer of the ArtAscent Bliss issue and made the Official Selection of the London Independent Story Prize. Anthologies include The Monsters We Forgot II, A Krampus Carol, Sea Glass Hearts, Because That's Where Your Heart Is from Sans Press. She was a finalist in the Blackwater Press Story Contest and published in their anthology in 2021. Before writing Red Panda Warrior, Jade Mountain, she visited China and lived in Asia for seventeen years. She can be found on her website https://citrinesunstream.wixsite.com/iridescent/ or on twitter @iridescentwords.