A foundling prince flees his evil stepfather, shielded by a whirling flock of magpies. A failed usurper sits on his throne, watching as poison kills his assembled family. And a lone commander begs his superiors to listen to his fears that a pirate king is plotting against him -- all moments from the action-packed, mind-boggling story of Coxinga. Author Clements scrupulously references a series of tales that grow ever taller, as the son of a smuggler and a samurai is caught up in the Manchurian invasion of China, is symbolically adopted by an imperial pretender, and swears to fight to the death for the honour of the Ming dynasty. This one has Hollywood written all over it, from the freed African slaves that formed Coxinga's personal bodyguard, to the gripping siege of the European base on Taiwan, attended with divine visions, battling goddesses, and the defiance of a heroic priest. A truly incredible page-turner, told with consummate skill, and all the more shocking for being true.