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Thirteen Orphans
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About the Author

JANE LINDSKOLD is the bestselling author of the Wolf series, which began with "Through Wolf's Eyes" and concluded with "Wolf's Blood," as well as many other fantasy novels. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Reviews

When 19-year-old Brenda Morris witnesses what appears to be a magical attack against her father, she uncovers the secret history of her family and 12 others, each former inhabitants of the world of Smoke and Shadows and now exiled to Earth after the overthrow of their emperor. The Thirteen Orphans, as the exiles and their descendants are called, are named after the houses of the Chinese Zodiac plus the Cat, and the ancient Chinese game of mah-jongg hides their magic, which must be recovered before Orphans are destroyed and their way home closed forever. This new series launch by the author of the "Firekeeper" series (e.g., Through Wolf's Eyes) deftly mingles the fascination of the mah-jongg tiles and the animal lore of the Chinese Zodiac with a modern tale of discovery and danger. This urban fantasy should appeal to fans of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher and is an excellent choice for most libraries. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-Nineteen-year-old Brenda Morris lives a comfortable life bounded by a loving family, good friends, and her college studies. One summer night, though, after a young man dressed like a Chinese warrior attacks her father and uses magic to alter his memories, Brenda learns that she is descended from one of 13 nobles who fled another world to seek refuge on Earth. Now, after almost a century, the heirs of those exiles are under attack. Brenda joins with a handful of other descendants in a desperate attempt to save their heritage. Yet she also finds herself drawn to the attacker. Who is friend, and who is foe? Lindskold has created a convincing tale of a young woman entering adulthood, assuming responsibility for herself and for others, and making sometimes-wrenching decisions. Action is brisk in the first and last thirds of the book, while the middle concentrates on developing relationships between the characters and providing background information. The story is nevertheless an attention-grabber throughout. It ends with questions and conflicts still unresolved, while the unexpected arrival of a new character sets up the next book in what promises to be an engrossing series. Recommend this one to teens who enjoy urban fantasies by authors such as Charles de Lint, Jim Butcher, or Lilith Saintcrow.-Sandy Schmitz, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Lindskold (Through Wolf's Eyes) delivers an enjoyable but unremarkable series launch. Brenda Morris, an innocent quarter-Chinese college student, is abruptly thrust into the hidden world of the Thirteen Orphans, descendants of magicians who take the forms of Chinese zodiac animals and draw magic from the game of mah-jongg. Brenda fights valiantly against otherworld elements who seek to steal the Orphans' power, but indulges in a painfully juvenile crush on a killer who attacks her father. From a fascinating premise, the narrative stalls repeatedly under the weight of awkward exposition, explanation of magic and mah-jongg and analysis of offscreen events. Stiff, unrealistic dialogue interrupts crisp, clean narrative prose. The only sparkle comes from mysterious assassins Flying Claw and Righteous Drum. After this serviceable setup, readers will mostly hope for the interesting sequel promised by the abrupt conclusion. (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Lindskold is a writer with strong world building skills and a knack for intricate yet comprehensible plots." --"Romantic Times BOOKreviews""Exhilarating. Exciting." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) on "Wolf Captured"

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