05 May, 2010

The Five Ancestors: Tiger

I've read and re-read this book dozens of times so I thought I'd do a book review. (Since I haven't done one in a while, and I can't think of anything else off the bat.)

Title: Tiger
Author: Jeff Stone
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary (from back flap): Before he dies, the grandmaster of Cangshen Temple instructs his five youngest pupils--each a master of a different fighting style--to search out the secrets of their pasts. Only then, he tells them, will they be able to avenge their fallen brothers and retrieve the temple's secret scrolls. Fu, a master of the tiger arts, doesn't even know where to start. Wounded and hungry, he stumbles through the forest until he heards a tiger roar in pain. Then instinct take over . . .
The good: Plot, characters, action, ancient China, Manchu rule, Chinese lifestyle in the 1600s . . . I love all the elements of this book and it has a very dramatic beginning that quickly makes you ask What happens? Fu has a younger voice that questions what he's there for and what principles to live by, and I like the way Stone incorporates the enemy's voice into the book. I like being able to see what the antagonist is saying in the same situations, and that clearly shows itself in the next few books, where different characters are telling their side of a fight, discussion, or argument. It's the first book out of seven (for five of the temple brothers and two for the persepctives of a street boy and a former brother turned renegade) with the rest of them titles Monkey, Snake, Crane, Eagle, Mouse, and Dragon, Dragon having been released two months ago.

The bad: There is a lot of fighting. I don't particularly mind it at all, but if you like low-violence stories, this one has a lot of kicking and punching. They are kung fu masters, after all. And Ying is a violent person in general.

Do I recommend this book? YES! It's nice to have a book that I can sit back and really enjoy for once, instead of criticizing one character flaw or another. You've got to have them, but I think this book (and series) balances them out.

-----The Golden Eagle

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