Title: Dragon's Pupil - the Sword Guest
Author: Martin Chu Shui
Publisher: BookPal, 300 pages paperback or KindlePublication date: July 27, 2009
Genre: martial arts adventure, YARating: 4/5
The chief monk raised his hand for quiet. "Master Zhang, as the chief monk of Anie temple, I formally request that you paint the dragons' pupils."
Zhang looked at the endless blue sky for a long time, and then sighed. :"All right, I'll do it, but be prepared." Taking out his calligraphy pen, he made four rapid strokes on the wall.
As soon as the pupils appeared in the dragons' eyes, they winked and twisted their whiskers a bit....The two dragons shook themselves and leapt into sky, against the heavy grey rain. There was a roar of wind and a howl of thunder, and they disappeared into the dark clouds. (Prologue)
I enjoyed the Tai Chi and martial arts action scenes almost as much as I enjoyed the stories that Henry and Liz's father told them, stories from old China that explained many of the martial arts movements and one aspect of ancient Chinese culture. I can see this being made into a film as the fights using Qi force and energy and Tai Chi movements are described in fascinating detail. A good book that also explains Chinese culture in terms of its history of fighting based on the philosophy of the Tao, and its legends that include a calligraphy pen which paints scenes that come to life. Definitely a book for YA readers and martial arts movie fans.
Martin Chu Shui describes his book as an adventure fantasy that combines both the ancient and the modern, the East and the West. There are dragons as well as vampires, protagonists that fly through the air, as well as those realistically portrayed. As I said before too, I enjoyed the stories from the ancients that the author uses throughout the book. I think the novel is a mixture of the literary with fantasy.
Product description: The story centers on Liz, born of half Australian and of half Chinese descent. Growing up in Australia, she isn’t very interested in her father’s ancient Chinese stories. She is concerned with problems that are far more contemporary — such as environmental issues, and particularly her friend’s handsome brother who is an environmental activist. But her disinterest in Chinese culture changes when her two worlds collide, after a catastrophic accident sets thousands of ancient monsters loose near her home.
Suddenly Liz must learn many new skills and call on all of her Chinese heritage if she is to prevent the monsters from destroying Earth. Helped by her twin brother and best friend, Liz sets out to discover why the monsters exist and how to stop them. When she is injured in a battle, she must travel to China to seek a cure that is spiritual as much as it is physical. But can she find the old man who can help her before the monsters catch her? How will she manage in a country that is so strange and yet so familiar? And can she learn enough about a world she has ignored to stop the monsters in time?
About the author: Martin Chu Shui lives in Australia with his wife and two children.
I bought this novel from the Kindle store.