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Five Ancestors #01: Tigerby Jeffrey Stone
Synopses & Reviews
“Tiger clips along at a lightning pace!”Eoin Colfer
Twelve-year-old Fu and his temple brothers Malao, Seh, Hok, and Long dont know who their parents were. Raised from infancy by their grandmaster, they think of their temple as their home and their fellow warrior monks as their family. Then one terrible night, the temple is destroyed by an army led by a former monk named Ying, whose heart is bent on revenge. Fu and his brothers are the only survivors. Charged by their grandmaster to uncover the secrets of their past, the five flee into the countryside and go their separate ways. Somehow, Grandmaster has promised, their pasts are connected to Yings. Understanding that the past is the key to shaping the future, the first book in the series follows Fu as he struggles to find out more and prove himself in the process. Fus name literally means “tiger,” for he is the youngest-ever master of the fierce fighting style modeled after that animal.
"Set in 17th-century China (aka '4348 — Year of the Tiger'), Stone's debut novel launches his riveting Five Ancestors series. Five orphans live at Cangzhen Temple with their Grandmaster, and consider themselves brothers; 'each had mastered a style of animal kung fu that reflected both his personality and his body type.' Their names are Cantonese for monkey, snake, crane, dragon and — this novel's focus — tiger. As the novel opens, Ying (Cantonese for 'eagle'), a 16-year-old former student, returns to the school with the Emperor's army to retrieve the 'dragon scrolls' ('He yearns to be an all-powerful dragon,' Grandmaster explains) and also to exact revenge on the Grandmaster, whom he blames for the death of his best friend. The brothers learn that Ying may harbor a deeper motive ('Grandmaster wasn't the holy man everyone thinks he is,' Ying tells them). In a titillating foreshadowing, Grandmaster warns the boys not to kill Ying: 'Your pasts are interwoven with Ying's and so are your futures.' While Ying battles his teacher, 12-year-old Fu ('tiger') retrieves the scrolls and flees, and the five brothers 'scatter into the four winds.' Fu spares the life of one of Ying's soldiers, who then repays the favor at a pivotal moment; Fu and Malao ('monkey') each bond with their animal counterparts, who also aid them at key junctures. Stone credibly portrays Fu as alternately sympathetic and maddening, true to his adolescent nature, and the martial arts scenes will keep even reluctant readers flipping through the pages, and anxious for volume two, Monkey. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From a first-time author comes a brand-new adventure series set in ancient China that follows five young warrior monks known as the Five Ancestors. Practitioners of the martial arts, each monk is named after an animal for its particular fighting style.
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