Stories from the East

Every now and then I come across a novel that stops me in my tracks irregardless of whether it’s from a new or established author. Lately, I find myself almost at a standstill. I’ve found in recent months a growing number of published novels with stories depicting the East. When I say East, I’m referring of course to countries like China, Japan, India, Mongolia, and the like.

These stories vary greatly and contain Wuxia, sword fighting, mystery, and romance, which makes for fun and enjoyable reading. If you’re familiar with actors like Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun Fat, or Jackie Chan, chances are you’ve seen a wuxia movie though you might not have been aware that’s what you were watching. Indeed the word wuxia is not as well known in the western world as it rightly should be. One of the most famous wuxia movies to date is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The story was written by Wang Du Lu and is the fourth book in his Crane Iron Pentalogy.

Wuxia is a genre of Chinese fiction that focuses on the knight-errant swordsman or swordswoman, their lives in the jianghu or martial arts world, and their many adventures. At present, a few English writers are working hard to bring this writing genre to the West and hope it will take hold much like manga or anime.

Sword fighting have always been part and parcel of Arthurian tales, but authors are now looking to the East for new heroes and heroines and different ways of wielding the sword in their stories.

New author Jeannie Lin have done something different and wonderful by writing novella’s set in the same world with related characters to continue the story arc between her books.  Right now these novella’s are only available in e-book format though each of her novels and novella’s can stand on their own. I found this fascinating as I’ve never seen this done before.

The following is a list of books whose stories have evoked vivid, breath-taking imagery that at times have plunged me into the story in such a way that I felt as if I was watching the action unfold from the sidelines. I’ve been transported to beautiful, rich Eastern lands and have been introduced to sensitive, strong, and sometimes unyielding characters both good and bad that have at times made me angry or sad. Nevertheless, I glad to have met them all.

I’ve provided a link to my review of some of these wonderful books and links to the author’s websites. So, if you’re looking to interject new life into your reading, I urge you to give these books a try. You’ll be glad you did.

AUTHOR: Jeannie Lin

  1. Butterfly Swords
  2. The Taming of Mei Lin
  3. The Dragon and The Pearl
  4. The Lady’s Scandalous Night
  5. Capturing the Silken Thief
  6. My Fair Concubine (release date: June 2012)

AUTHOR: Mina Khan

  1. The Djinn’s Dilemma – my review here
  2. A Tale of Two Djinns

AUTHOR: Anju Gattani

  1. Duty and Desire -my review here

AUTHOR: Zoe Marriott

  1. Swan Kingdom
  2. Daughter of the Flames
  3. Shadows on the Moon
  4. Frost Fire


  1. The Legend of Snow Wolf: Reincarnation bk. 1 (release date: June 2012) – my review here

AUTHOR: Esther Friesner

  1. Spirit’s Princess (Princess of Myth series –
  2. Nobody’s Princess
  3. Nobody’s Prize
  4. Sphinx’s Princess
  5. Sphinx’s Queen

Note: This is merely a small list of her thirty plus books

AUTHOR: Sarwat Chadda

  1. Ash Mistry

Note:  Other books have been written by this author that aren’t set in Eastern lands

AUTHOR: Laura Joh Rowland

  1. Entire San Ichiro series

Note: Other books have been written by this author that aren’t set in Eastern lands


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