I had one day “off” – it was my vacation day where I would do what I wanted; no chores, errands or plans. So, inevitably, I ended up in a bookstore. Mostly, I buy e-books now. They are cheaper and condos are no longer built to actually hold STUFF so I have no room. However, I still love a good paperback. You can flip though it, you can read it in the tub and it’s lighter than my iPad (yes, I’m a weakling). So, I bought 3 books and one of them was “White Tiger” by an Australian author, Kylie Chan. And, like most of my impulse buys, I liked the look of the cover. The story is set in modern hong kong and the cover has a stylised tiger (no surprise there) and an old fashioned Chinese junk (boat) and a girl in a martial arts uniform. Plus, I like tigers. And, on top of all of that, I loved the story too.
The story is in the style of Chinese story telling mixing in characters from mythology with good old-fashioned martial arts. It pulls in magic (Chinese style – energy work), endearing and lovable characters, tragedy and bad guys. The characters are ones that you wish you knew. People who you would want to hang out with just to hear their stories or listen to the type of pithy or funny comments that they might make on the current social issues of the day.
Ms Chan also did a wonderful job describing Hong Kong. I’ve travelled quite a bit and there are those places that have a distinct feel to them – something about they way they smell or how the storefronts are arranged or the commonplace things that aren’t quite the same as home. She captured Hong Kong – Kowloon, the subway lines, the island – so that I found myself nodding and thinking “oh yeah, I remember that!”.
My only complaint is that I can’t get the second trilogy from Australia fast enough!!!
White Tiger followed by Red Phoenix followed by Blue Dragon http://www.kyliechan.com