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[books] Jade Man’s Skin by Daniel Fox

  

Just yesterday finished reading an ARC of the new Daniel Fox book Jade Man’s Skin, Del Rey, February, 2010. This is the book two of a trilogy begun with Fox’s 2009 Dragon in Chains.

This is a fantasy based in a secondary world analog of Medieval China. Many readers may be familiar with Barry Hughart’s brilliant Bridge of Birds as an example of Sinocentric fantasy, but where Hughart was telling a very Westernized, tongue-in-cheek story, Fox has chosen to follow a much more traditional Chinese path with the story and his characters. These books cover the range from Imperial intrigue to ocean-spanning magic to the smallest lives. Brutal, brilliant, complex and startlingly clear all at once, this series does a magnificent job of taking the reader into a culture, a time and a place that most of us have never considered.

I’m eager for the third volume, and these first two come highly recommended.

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