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A Sudden Dawn: A Martial Arts Novel: 1 [Paperback]

Goran Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Sep 2010
The life of Bodhidharma has given rise to countless myths and legends, A Sudden Dawn is one version of his story. Born to the warrior caste, he gives up a promising future as a soldier to become a monk and seek enlightenment. After many years of searching in vain, he finally becomes enlightened in a single moment. Bodhidharma accepts a mission to venture into China and spread the teachings of The Buddha. He travels across the Himalayas and down the Yangtze river, where he meets an unlikely disciple, a young Chinese fugitive named Ko. Together they travel across China to the Emperor s palace in Nanjing and beyond to a little temple in the mountains called Shaolin. On the journey, Ko learns Bodhidharma s unique Way of spirituality and martial arts. But there are powerful forces at work to destroy the Indian master, and Ko s violent past catches up with him outside the temple gates, where a deadly reckoning takes place.

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A Sudden Dawn: A Martial Arts Novel: 1 + Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test + Chojun
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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: YMAA Fiction; 1st edition (30 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159439198X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594391989
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Goran Powell is a freelance writer who holds a 5th Dan in Goju Ryu Karate. He works in London and teaches and trains at Daigaku Karate Kai, one of the UK's strongest clubs.

In 2006 his first book Waking Dragons was an instant bestseller on Amazon's martial arts listing and is now in its second edition. In 2008 he co-produced the highly acclaimed Four Shades of Black written by his Sensei Gavin Mulholland.

Goran's first novel 'A Sudden Dawn' was release by YMAA Fiction in 2010. It tells the story of Bodhidharma who brought Zen and the martial arts to the Shaolin Temple. His second novel 'Chojun' is historical fiction set on Okinawa and telling the story of the 'real Mr Miyagi' - the karate master Chojun Miyagi.

Product Description


So real that you can feel the hot breath of battle on your neck and the cool of the temples' damp hallways on your legs. Kris Wilder You will be captivated by this extraordinary tale. --Lawrence Kane

Amazing. The book martial artists have been waiting 2000 years for. --Chris Crudelli

Inspirational, beautifully written, expertly researched. I loved it --Geoff Thompson

Amazing. The book martial artists have been waiting 2000 years for. --Chris Crudelli

Inspirational, beautifully written, expertly researched. I loved it --Geoff Thompson

About the Author

4th Dan Karate Goran began Judo in 1972 at the age of seven. In 1984 he moved to London and trained in Shotokan karate, Kyokushinkai and Taekwondo before settling on Goju Ryu karate. In 1999 he joined Daigaku Karate Kai and completed the gruelling 30 Man Kumite in 2002, writing up the experience in his bestselling book Waking Dragons. In 2007 he achieved the rank of 4th Dan after demonstating skill in modern and traditional weaponry. Goran still teaches and trains regularly in central London and is assistant coach to the MMA team DKK Fighters.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Read 10 Jun 2010
Breathtaking! I read into the early hours of the morning of my karate grading because I couldn't put this novel down.

The saying goes that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but in the case of Goran Powell's A Sudden Dawn the stunning illustration is a perfect reflection of the imagery this book evokes.

This beautifully written story, a blend of well researched historical fact and gripping fiction, will take you back in time as you travel with Bodhidharma from India, over the Himalayas and across China to the Shaolin temple.

Inspiring, enlightening, funny and sad, the journey and its characters will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Sudden Dawn has been a total revelation to me as far as martial arts books are concerned. Being a martial arts lover a practicing Buddhist and a passionate reader of the Lotus Sutra, I have been delightfully transported into this epic journey of spiritual discovery of mentor and disciple legacy. The narrative is full of passion, compassion, a whirlwind of emotions. It portrays the meaning of hardships to overcome obstacles and the strong determination to follow the correct path to wisdom through enduring physical and mental discipline. Written with such a mastery that wouldn't allow for the book to be put down. I would love to see 'A Sudden Dawn' translated into a multitude of languages and made available worldwide, as much as I would love to see it translated into an epic film.
Thank you Goran, I have truly enjoyed the journey.'A Sudden Dawn' is a treasure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A marvellous modern interpretation of an ancient legend! Reading this book opens a gateway to the mythical origins of the martial arts. Groan Powell's vivid writing style then takes you through this gateway and fully immerses you in Bodhidharma's world. A Sudden Dawn skilfully weaves fact and fiction to produce a powerhouse of a page turner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have no special interest in martial arts, but I love a good book. "A Sudden Dawn" is an engrossing read. I found myself reading for several hours at each sitting, and reluctant to put the book down.

When any descriptions of physical action, training or fighting occur, they are entirely appropriate to the plot, and easy to follow for a non-martial artist.

This book is very well constructed. There is a lovely balance between quiet moments of revelation, exciting adventure and poignant character development - all peppered with witty dialogue.

The 3 main characters become dear to the reader, despite their imperfections. Their journeys toward meeting one another and their subsequent relationships build a wonderful drama.

The lush descriptions of Bodhidrama's journey paint a vivid picture, which grounds the novel in the historical period and foreign climes. I agree with one of the other reviewers who said that this book would make a terrific movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real pleasure 13 Nov 2010
I had the 'honor' of receiving a first draft in photocopy form a couple of years ago, but to my shame I couldn't get past the first few of pages. However, with the real book in my hands I tentatively opened to the first chapter and was immediately hooked- three hours later and I'm already half-way through.

Beautifully written and a captivating story rich in character and plot. Sadly I read it all too soon and can only hope to find something new to read as easily engaging. Well done Goran!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read 3 Nov 2010
A test of a good book is whether or not it makes the journey into work more bearable, especially if you travel on the London Underground. People elbowing you in the back, breathing last night's dinner into your face and wafting the sweet aroma of two day old armpit sweat like the gravy smell in the bisto advert are all forgotten as the book takes you out of the real world and transports you quite nicely into a world that we can only dream of.

I enjoyed the book immensely mainly because of the way it paints a vivid picture of what it must have been like when fighting techniques and techniques of the mind were being fused many thousands of years ago especially when you consider their popularity and diversity in the current age.

I would also like to mention the love scenes, which caused me to laugh out loud on numerous occasions for a number of reasons. Mainly because I'm just a bit immature but also because I appreciated the comedy value in them but it does highlight that even someone as mystical and dedicated as a monk can still be consumed with pleasures of the flesh and still maintain their belief system(s) on the path to enlightment, quite similar to modern religious figures in the current age.

A book well worth reading, whether you're interested in martial arts or buddhism or not as it's a riveting story when considered outside of the these two frameworks. I look forward to the film in the future and hope that those fights scenes are brought to life on the big screen. Just hope they change the sex scenes!!! I don't think my adolescent sniggering will go down too well amongst my fellow cinema goers!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more than just a good story 2 Nov 2010
From the beginning I found "A Sudden Dawn" a fast-paced and enjoyable story. A map inside the front cover is often a foretaste of adventures through distant times and places, and Goran Powell's book does not disappoint. He has clearly researched his setting, and the details of Bodhidharma's native South India and journey through Tibet to China are lovingly reimagined. As one would expect from an author who is also an experienced martial artist, the depictions of fighting and training - which incidentally are not too many, and by no means limit the appeal of the book to martial arts fans - are vivid and believable. Above all, Powell has built on the few facts known about the legendary Bodhidharma to create a story with sympathetic characters and an engrossing plot.

If that was all this book achieved, it would be worth reading. But along the way Powell, through his characters' dilemmas and arguments, touches on questions of philosophy and morality. The device of a "journey" is often used to portray a character's inner journey in parallel with an outer one. What I found interesting was that here it is not so much the main character Bodhidharma who develops along the route - his progression from warrior, through impatient novice monk, to "bearer of enlightenment" is completed early on in the book - as his various disciples. The book is littered with references to "The Way" as understood by Buddhists. Each of the disciples has their own reason for joining Bodhidharma's journey, and each is travelling towards their own understanding of The Way. Ultimately it is the completion of one disciple's inner journey some time after the arrival at Shaolin that marks the culmination of the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book
This book is a journey and I loved every step of it. Beautifully descriptive and an enthralling tale. A powerful story.
Published 10 months ago by Ronin
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Goran Powell
After reading waking dragons & chojun I had to check out a sudden dawn and once again I was hooked by another Goran Powell book. Brilliant read from the start. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Karl Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sudden Dawn
Still reading it but very enjoyable reading so far and I hope the remainder of the book is as good as the beginning.
Published 14 months ago by Gill Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great read
Let me start by saying I am not a follower of ' the way' nor am I involved in martial arts. But this book is a very good read and has enough story and meaning to be worth... Read more
Published 20 months ago by smudjer
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
i cant get enough of this book. i love reading the bookend have recommended it to all of my friends. Read more
Published on 26 July 2012 by Mr
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sudden Dawn
I really enjoyed this book and found myself reading into the night when I should have been going to sleep! Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2012 by LizzyB
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning interpretation of Bodiharma's journey.
Wow, what a great story. Goran's interpretation of Gautuma's journey is second to none, filled with subtle lessons on life for those who wish to grow to something more than they... Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by Danny's profile page
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sudden Dawn, by Goran Powell - bridging the gap between martial arts...
Whether you want to be hurled into an action packed, danger strewn martial arts extravaganza, or submerge yourself in a considered imagining of the legendary journey of... Read more
Published on 27 Jan 2011 by Stuart Williams
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