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The Jade Owl (The Jade Owl Legacy Book 1)
 
 

The Jade Owl (The Jade Owl Legacy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Edward C. Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

In China they whisper about the Jade Owl and its awful power. This ancient stone, commissioned by the Empress Wu and crafted by a mineral charmer, long haunted the folk of the Middle Kingdom until it vanished into an enigma of legend and lore. Now the Jade Owl is found. It wakes to steal the day from day. Its power to enchant and distort rises again. Its horror is revealed to a band of five, who must return it to the Valley of the Dead before the laws of ch’i are set aside in favor of destruction’s dance. Five China Hands, each drawn through time’s thin fabric by the bird, discover enchantment on the secret garland. Five China Hands, and one holds the key to the world’s fate. Five China Hands. Only one Jade Owl - but it’s awake and in China, they whisper again.

Professor Rowden Gray has come to San Francisco following a new opportunity at the East Asian Arts and Culture Museum, only to find that the opportunity has evaporated. Desperate, he means to end his career in a muddle of pity and Scotch, but then things happen. He latches on to a fascinating young man who is pursuing a lost relic that Professor Gray has in fact been seeking. Be careful for what you seek - you may just find it. Thus begins a journey that takes the professor and his companions on a spirited adventure across three-thousand miles of Chinese culture and mystery - a quest to fulfill a warrant long set out to ignite the world in myth and legend. The Jade Owl is the beginning of a series - a legacy that fulfills a terrible truth; and in China, they whisper again.

A Finalist in the 2009 RAINBOW AWARDS

Review from Rainbow Reviews

Sinologist Professor Rowden Gray receives the opportunity of his professional lifetime, a curator position at the fabled San Francisco East Asian Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture, which houses the collection of his late mentor, "Old China Hand" John Battle. Battle's great work had been discredited due to his insistence on the Jade Owl, a mysterious missing artifact commissioned by China's only Empress. When RG arrives, he immediately discovers the position has been rescinded, he encounters a strange young man who proves to be Battle's prodigal son, and learns the Jade Owl really exists. Plunging into a drama worthy of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler, the soon-boon companions and several others are off on a life-and-death chase through San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong as the portal into China.

The Jade Owl is a nonstop, don't miss page turner and only the first in a quintology, The Jade Owl Legacy series. Readers, run, do not walk to your nearest book outlet and grab this intriguing gay mystery with its fully realized characters, gay and straight and bi, roller-coaster plotting, and paranormal fantasy elements. The Jade Owl is a true winner.

Review from Aricia Gavrial's Book Reviews:

In this novel, the artifact is an ancient Chinese object, a six inch piece of Jade carved in the likeness of an owl -- and it's actually a key that opens a box known as the Joy of Finches. What's in the box? That would be telling! But everybody wants the key.

The first thing that impressed me about Jade Owl was how knowledgeable about Chinese antiquities the writer is, and about China itself. Shanghai and Beijing are described with the same amount of detail and enthusiasm as San Francisco -- and never having been to either China or the USA myself, I really appreciated the "local color." Many writers, when setting their plots in London, New York, what have you, seem to think that everyone's been there and knows intimately every secret of the city. Not true. So, the first level where Jade Owl succeeds is in "selling me" San Francisco, which is the setting for the first long segment of the book.

Jade Owl is a real treat, on a par with the top-notch writers who sell in the gajillions. The Jade Owl is an extremely good read.

About the Author

Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further postgraduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 2000 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring. Published Novels by Edward C. Patterson include No Irish Need Apply, Bobby's Trace, Cutting the Cheese, Surviving an American Gulag, Turning Idolater and The Jade Owl (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book I). Coming soon: The Third Peregrination (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book II), The Dragon's Pool (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book III), Southern Swallow (Nan Ya), Look Away, Silence, Belmundus, The Road to Grafenwoehr, and Green Folly. Look also for The People's Treasure (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book IV) and In the Shadow of Her Hem (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book V). Poetry books available are The Closet Clandestine: a queer steps out and Come, Wewoka - and - Diary of Medicine Flower.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1007 KB
  • Print Length: 600 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1440447977
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (23 Oct 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001J54AWO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,664 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further postgraduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 2000 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring.

His novel No Irish Need Apply was named Book of the Month for June 2009 by Booz Allen Hamilton's Diversity Reading Organization. His Novel The Jade Owl was a finalist for The 2009 Rainbow Awards.

Published Novels by Edward C. Patterson include No Irish Need Apply, Bobby's Trace, Cutting the Cheese, Surviving an American Gulag, Turning Idolater, Look Away Silence, Oh, Dainty Triolet, The Road to Grafenwöhr, The Jade Owl (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book I), The Third Peregrination (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book II), The Dragon's Pool (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book III), The People's Treasure (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book IV) and Southern Swallow Series (Book I - The Academician and Book II - The Nan Tu).

Coming soon: Southern Swallow Series (Book III - Swan Cloud; Book IV - The House of Green Waters; Book V -- Vagrants Hollow), Belmundus and Green Folly.
Look also for In the Shadow of Her Hem (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book V) and A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon and Other Ravings from the Blogosphere.
Poetry books available are The Closet Clandestine: a queer steps out and Come, Wewoka & Diary of Medicine Flower.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 15 Mar 2014
By Lady B
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a lover of "relic hunter" type stories I really enjoyed this adventure - the characters were charismatic and the action was interesting and moved quickly. The book was most entertaining - I couldn't put it down. I'm really looking forward to reading the others in this series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars James Clavell meets Indiana Jones in this China Mystery! 22 Dec 2008
By Todd A. Fonseca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After relocating from New York City to take on the position of a lifetime, sinologist Professor Rowden Gray learns upon his arrival that his position at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture has been eliminated. Furious with the last minute turn of events, Gray stumbles upon Nick Battle who is none other than the son of Gray's long time mentor - John Battle. Gray finds that Nick possesses The Jade Owl an ancient Chinese relic previously believed to be the stuff of legend. They discover that The Jade Owl may open a sister relic The Joy of Finches held captive in the Museum's Asian display. Together they find The Jade Owl to be more than a relic, but the key to finding the lost tomb of the only empress to rule over the middle kingdom - Wu Tze-t'ien.

An eclectic expedition team including Gray, Nick, Nick's life partner and drag queen - Simone, a one-eyed Cherokee - Griffen, and Chinese American martial arts expert - Audrey, set out to return The Jade Owl to the empress. However, the Owl reveals itself to be much more than a relic, but a vessel for controlling, channeling, and altering Chi creating unspeakable power. These China Hands must return the Owl in time or unleash it's dangers to the world.

In The Jade Owl, Edward C. Patterson does a masterful job at taking the reader deep into a journey of China's cultural treasures. The history, foods, people, architecture, politics, even aromas of Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin, are carefully and beautifully conveyed and Patterson's expertise in this area shines. He has also created characters so real that one feels they are reading a diary of life experiences as opposed to fictional fantasy. As a result, The Jade Owl has all of the intrigue and interest of an Indiana Jones mystery but is grounded in the reality of true to life characters making it more satisfying in the end.

My only hesitation to giving this novel 5 stars was the lack of conflict and action driving the first half of the book. While the mystery of The Jade Owl is the backbone of the story, it seemed to fade to the background in the first half in favor of the rich cultural excursions the expedition team took as they traveled China. None-the-less, this is a very satisfying read and Patterson is a very accomplished writer.

For those looking for the cultural intrigue of the middle kingdom and a fantastical mystery involving ancient relics of a long forgotten empress, The Jade Owl delivers. It is the first of the five book Jade Owl legacy.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what one might expect. And that's a good thing! 3 Oct 2013
By Ken NYC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Journey from the hills of San Francisco to the hills in the heart of ancient China, travel between the dim mists of antiquity and legend to the bustling streets of modern day Hong Kong and Shanghai, trace the opening passages written in pearl and stone and amidst the glitter of the gaudy songs of the Castro. Prepare to be surprised as five new Old China Hands (including one in a delicious polka dot frock, wigs, heels and sun-hats optional) find their destiny in completing the First Ward of the mysterious, and deadly, Jade Owl. Will they survive it, or will they fall as so many before them have fallen to the heartless machinations set in motion long ago by a merciless spirit, the dread spirit of the Emperor Wu?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly Fun 5 Dec 2010
By Eric C. Zawadzki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The characters and dialogue make this book. Every conversation just sparkles with wit and energy. The characters are genuinely funny, even if their mission and the story itself are not.

The author also has a clear love of place and does a wonderful job describing the settings vividly. He doesn't merely stop at physical descriptions, either, managing to even capture the essential culture of a place.

While there are a number of plot twists, the arc of the story is ultimately predictable. It's a fun ride, but you can see where it's going.

The author sometimes gets a bit carried away with his own cleverness. To a certain extent, those knowing winks to the reader really define the voice of the story, but a few more murdered darlings would have made the story leaner.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent start of a literary legacy 14 Mar 2009
By ellen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
China, present day and past, is still so mysterious and inviting. Sinologist Edward C. Patterson has written a masterful epic in The Jade Owl that will not only have you glued to this 595 page book, but have you before you are half way through the book, ordering book 2 of this series, The Third Peregrination!
Patterson's masterful story deals with an amazing 'work of art' The Jade Owl, commissioned by Empress Wu, and with its charmer/creator, became the stuff legends are made of from the Middle Kingdom on in China's impressive legends. It is not only a magnificent piece of art, but a metaphysical power that can enchant and destroy.
A group of Sinologists from San Francisco become part of The Jade Owl's destiny, including Dr. Rowden Gray, and Nick Battle, son of Grey's former mentor. Nick takes Dr. Gray to Chinatown - the ancient relic The Jade Owl still exists! Battle takes Gray to a club and Gray meets Nick's love, Simone DeLefleurry, or Simon as some may call him. So starts the beginnings of great friendships that encompass continents. The China Hands that were born to find the stuff of legends and must right the laws of ch'i before the Jade Owl and its destructive power literally change life as we know it.
Patterson is a well known sinologist who has taken the legends of China and breathed life into them in a non-stop Indiana Jones meets the Great Wall of China type of adventure. It is an amazing trek into the world of China and its people and history, and a series of love stories.
As a fledgling writer, I am always amazed the brilliance of someone's writing where a complex story is not only told with beauty, but each sentence seems touched by a poetic gleam.
The Jade Owl, like Gary Val Tenuta's The Ezekiel Code, is riveting and unforgettable.
Mr. Patterson is a prolific writer, and those works I have been honored to read so far have been told with grace and power.
May The Jade Owl hoot in your ear and have you ordering your copy.
The book, the Chinese mythology, the friendships are all truly magical. You will be recommending Edward C. Patterson's books to anyone asking if you happen to know any good books to read -
Patterson is a literary force to be reckoned with - much like his metaphysical forces - ethereal as the wind, yet as powerful.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Tale 14 Jan 2011
By Debra Purdy Kong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Professor Rowden Gray, a Sung Dynasty expert, is furious. The curator's position he was supposed to start at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Art and Culture has been snapped away. Rowden's devastated at the thought of returning to teaching, but when he's approached by a rather brazen museum employee, Rowden's life takes an unexpected turn. The employee, Nick, is on a quest to find a mysterious, ancient figurine known as The Jade Owl, believed to have belonged to Empress Wu thirteen centuries earlier, and he needs Rowden's expertise to accomplish this quest. It doesn't take Rowden long to realize that this mission is not only dangerous, but could change--if not end--their lives.

The Jade Owl is filled with thrills, mysticism, and adventure that captivated me from the beginning. The author's knowledge of Chinese culture and geography adds authenticity to the story; but beyond this, he's created memorable and likeable characters with distinctive voices.

The book's omniscient viewpoint allows the reader into different characters' heads, and the author even speaks directly to the reader at times, which for me, was a bit intrusive, (although this style was common earlier in the twentieth century). The ending was satisfying, although the epilog a little long. Still, there's enough juicy foreshadowing to make me want to pick up the next book. Enjoy!
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