Synopses & Reviews
A volcanic eruption releases a vanguard of demons, sealed away for centuries beneath the earth. Soon after, the Emperor's first son is born, marked with the sign of the Qin-the brand of the outlaw! Could the child be the new Starlord, destined to restore justice to the land? The emperor plots to kill his only heir before the boy can usurp his throne. But the assassin is foiled by a mysterious monk whose magical tattoos foretell the future, and a trickster monkey who longs for immortality. A host of warring guardians must ultimately unite to help the Starlord unlock the kung fu secrets of the Twelve Scrolls and save the earth from destruction. But first, the Prince must fulfill his destiny, and join the twin leaders of the legendary outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh in a war against the Lord of the Dead. The first in a trilogy, Sign of the Qin draws upon Chinese myth and legend in a tour de force of classic storytelling. L.G. Bass is a student of martial arts, a former teacher and journalist, and a fan of kung fu films. The author lives with her husband and two sons in New York City.
"Bass's (Silverpoint) sprawling eastern fantasy, the first in the planned Outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh trilogy, conjures Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its confident tone and authoritative use of legend, archetype and spiritually-based martial arts tradition. In a realm partially inspired by ancient China, mankind teeters on the verge of destruction as the Lord of the Dead, Yamu, works to arise and blanket the world in chaos; his servant, the evil Emperor Han, fathers a son, but the boy is born with the Sign of the Qin, a mark carried by the noble outlaws who work against Han. Fearful, Han exiles the boy's mother and tries to kill the boy, who may be the prophesied reincarnation of the Starlord, savior of humanity. The gods become involved, assigning the trickster Monkey to protect the boy; while Han's and Yamu's minions seek out the young Prince, so too does his mother. She in turn is aided by the fascinating Tattooed Monk, the scholar-warrior whose tattoos shift to offer signs and omens. However complex, these threads of the story line still don't scratch the surface of this densely layered, multi-faceted novel. Bass's cosmology borders on the encyclopedic; her book reads like an exploration of an ages-old mythology rather than the invention of a new one. Fantasy readers looking for a break from conventional swords and sorcery will likely become enthralled. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This first novel in a new trilogy draws upon Chinese myth and legend for an epic kung-fu, sword-and-sorcery fantasy is a tour de force of classic storytelling.