The Legacy of the Luoshu covers the story of the luoshu in China, both in legend and using historical sources. It tells how the luoshu and the magic square came to the attention of the West in the 17th century. The book explains uses of the luoshu in traditional Chinese culture, and also examines the use of the luoshu in other cultures, including Greece, India, Tibet, Japan, and the Islamic world. This book explains the mathematics of magic squares and how they are derived.
The Legacy of the Luoshu is 214 pages with many diagrams and illustrations. This includes some beautiful drawings from old Chinese books.
The author, Frank Swetz, is a professor of mathematics, who has written many other books, including others on Chinese mathematics. Even though he is a mathematician, his writing is very readible. The book has extensive footnotes, yet does not seem stuffy at all. In fact, you can feel the authors excitement as he discovers new details about the history of the luoshu. The author has a good grasp of Chinese culture, without any feeling of condesention.
If you are curious about history and how things work, this is a wonderful book! The first four chapters were fascinating; I just wanted to lie in bed and read them. The later half of the book is a great resource to which I will refer, although the subjects were less focused on my specific areas of interest.
If you enjoy learning about the intellectual and spiritual pursuits of classical Chinese culture, you will love this book. Overall, this is a very well researched book that is serious, yet fun to read.