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Taming Poison Dragons (Medieval China Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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For me it's 4 1/2 stars, but I shall err on the generous side.
The plot was a rattling good read especially towards the end with plenty of drama.
I liked how it was written and would happily read anything else by the same author. I feel a bit bereft now I have finished the book.
Set in China's 12th century, it tells of Yun Cai, a man born of relatively humble stock who over his lifetime does (quite) well for himself. But Murgatroyd makes Yun Cai's journey a particularly perilous and, at times, difficult one that leaves the reader quite breathless. Yun Cai is no hero, but you quickly warm to the man, who also has his faults like any other. The trick for any author is to get the balance right so that the reader stays with the character throughout and, I think, Murgatroyd achieves this.
Yun Cai's challenges are simple: to fulfill his obligations to a childhood friend and to come to terms with his own love for a beautiful singer, Su Lin. These two subjects of duty and yearning are cleverly interwoven as the story jumps from the present to the past and back again.
Set, as it is, in a time and culture that seems to us in 21st century Britain both astonishing and unknowable, Murgatroyd nonetheless makes it all hugely readable and enjoyable.
I found the setting and the culture fascinating even unsettling - but I take comfort in the fact that humanity is becoming more just in its treatment of peoples. Correct?
All historical works are fictional, however, one is taken into this story as if it were current and gripped by the writing. I am reluctant to finish the book as it is so enjoyable.
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You won't be disappointed.