Prince Zong is born on a miraculous night, heir to his Emperor father's throne but is denied his position because of a curious birthmark on his face--the Sign of the Qin (pronounced Ch'in), the mark of the outlaw. Seeing the birthmark enrages his father. Emperor Han blames his wife and banishes her from the Forbidden City. He refuses to acknowledge his son as Prince and Heir, instead plotting to kill the child. But the child is not ordinary, he is a Starlord, a direct descendant of the first Starlord, Emperor Hung Wu, and is prophecied to change the world. He grows miraculously fast, able to walk within a month, and although he cannot speak, he does understand all that happens around him. With his monkey guardian he flees his murderous father and leaves the Forbidden City to learn the ancient art of Kung Fu.
While this is going on, the outlaw brothers White Streak and Black Whirlwind, leaders of the Sign of the Qin, are battling their own demons, there are demons and immortals, good and bad, and they all have a part to play in the upcoming battle.
There's so much in this first novel, so many characters and so much going on, but it's not confusing. I can't wait to find out what happens to the young Starlord and his monkey guardian! There aren't many YA books based on Chinese legends; it's refreshing to see a story that's not Eurocentric. This will definitely be popular, particularly with boys.
Just Finished Reading: Sign of the Qin--L.G. Bass
Reading: Dunno yet
On My Nightstand: Tons
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