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Hidden Cities by Daniel Fox
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This was a little hard, given that I haven't read the other two in the series, but it makes me want to go back and start those. More thoughts later. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Third part of the medieval China-inspired fantasy by Chaz Brenchley writing under his Daniel Fox pen name. And make no mistake, this is the third and final part of a single story which began with Dragon in Chains, rather than the third of three novels. You'll need to have read the first two parts to get the most out of this book. Fortunately, that's no hardship. This is a complex story that needs the space to do justice to the lives of its characters.

At the end of the second part (Jade Man's Skin), the young Emperor had control of the island of Taishu, source of the jade that underpins imperial power, and was about to lose the city of Santung across the strait to the general who was attempting to overthrow him -- until the no-longer-chained dragon disrupted the petty wars of humans. In this volume the characters have to deal with the consequences -- the dragon will not permit boats to cross the strait unless they are protected by the presence of the Li-goddess of the sea, in the form of one of the children the goddess has taken for her use as a human avatar. As the humans play out their struggles for power, so do the dragon and the goddess, in a complex tales with many strands. It does not end in the boy Emperor winning back his entire empire, but that would not be the right end for this story, and it ends well enough.

As with the first two parts, this offers a thoughtful look at war and its aftermath, written in stunning prose. The trilogy is a long read, but well worth the time. ( )
  JulesJones | Jan 7, 2012 |
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Ping Wen is sent into Santung by the victorious emperor and there encounters a healer, Tien, who guards mysterious secrets, while Han and his companions seek to escape the island by means of a dragon.

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