Tuesday, December 29

Blue Dragon – Kylie Chan

One Two Two, the King of Demon's son is closing in on a rapidly weakening Shen Xuan Tian Shang Di - the Black Turtle of the North. Though Emma's skills at energy work and combat are proceeding at a phenomenal rate, her status as Xuan Wu's true love and betrothed make her an equally tempting target. Knowing that his time is rapidly drawing to an end, Xuan Wu and Emma try to make the most of the time they have, both for themsleves and to allow his beloved daughter to reach the fullest of her abilities to defend herself.
The powerful plotting, deeply grounded characterisation and compelling interweaving of Chinese mythology and theology, particularly the Tao, into an already captivating tale, makes this series stand head and shoulders above average. I can't remember the last time I was so immersed in a novel, not only going straight from one in the series to the next but forsaking other diversions because I wanted to know what happens next.

Touched on in Red Phoenix, in Blue Dragon we get to see more of Emma’s family and explore her relationship with her parents and with her – very different - sisters. I appreciated the contrast between her family members, new and old, and their adaptation to Emma's changing fortunes.
I also really liked the way Emma’s nationality influences her attitude and the way it’s portrayed - though no real-life characters are as Australian as Emma’s sister Amanda’s opal - and I loved the idea that Uluru is the Mother of all sentient stones. As I got toward the final third of Blue Dragon I was concerned that there wasn't enough room to conclude the trilogy. Chan does leave the ending hanging, but somehow I closed the book feeling satisfied, and hoping that the forthcoming Earth to Hell mentioned on the last page will continue the story. Just perfect. - Alex

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