Title: FORGOTTEN TALES OF CHINA
Author: Lisa April Smith
Publisher: Windgate Press
Published Date: December 31, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was received for the purpose of an honest review.
BOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM AMAZON)
For the first time, author Lisa April Smith merges her proven skill at delivering unforgettable characters, page-turner suspense and a scientist’s insistence on accuracy. Forgotten Tales is an epic tale of survival, sacrifice, lust and love, indomitable perseverance, bravery and betrayal. The location is the fertile Yellow River basin near modern-day Beijing – the Chinese Cradle of Civilization. For tens of thousands of years this unique river alternately rewarded its inhabitants hard work, then unpredictably swept away everything in its path with deadly unbridled fury.
Each of six tales has its own characters, conflicts and story. The first tale, “The People,” is set 40,000 years ago, with a small band who communicate almost solely through sign language. Their lives are shattered by the loss of precious fire – a development they have not as yet learned to create. In response to this crisis, Storm, their inexperienced eighteen year-old leader, takes four men to steal it from feared Strangers. The result of this chilling lethal exchange will forever alter the People’s lives. And then there’s low-ranking Berry, the first to be beaten and the last to eat, a nine year-old girl who imagines herself to be the successor to Wise Old Mother, the troupe’s revered shaman.
The following five tales – “Giants,” “Squint,” “Shing’s Daughters,” “The Temple of the Goddess” and “The Bronze Worker and the Discarded Concubine” – each show the change in social structure that accompanies technological advances on the road to civilization. But the stories are always about human beings: their frailties and strengths, genius, passion, love and loss, desires and dreams.
If you’re interested in China, or if good historic fiction is among the genres you enjoy reading, this one is for you. If you’re a fan of Clan of the Cave Bear, the first two tales of Forgotten Tales are sure to delight. And if you the rare individual who insists on accuracy in historic fiction, this one was written for you.
“L. A. Smith’s characters radiate the fear and wonder of discovering for the first time so much of what we today accept as ordinary – and the essence of what it is to be human.” “ . . . heartbreak and triumph, victimization and courage, power and compassion, reading these stories is like feeling a spark between your own fingertips and those of your most distant ancestors.” Author and reviewer Valley Brown.
When I was asked to read FORGOTTEN TALES OF CHINA by author Lisa April Smith, I was expecting a suspense book like the great read EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS. What I read turned out to be a historical fiction about pre-historic China. Not something I would have normally agreed to read. I was sure glad that I did. I fell in love with this book. The characters jumped off the pages and I fell in love with them. The story telling was superb. We learned of the people who lived in caves and had to learn to hunt for food and even fire. They had a “mother” that taught them the old ways. She passed on her knowledge to a young girl, Berry, with low ranking who turned out to be a great help to the tribe. My favorite story was of the man who came onto the tribe’s land looking for a place for him and his small group to stay. The men agreed to let the man, his women and children from his group to stay on for a year to prove his worth and re-evaluate the decision. He brought with him the knowledge of fishing. Normally a woman would fish, but the stranger had an extensive knowledge to catch many fish and feed many people. He showed his worth above and beyond what the people expected.
If you have a fondness for China and/or historical fiction I highly recommend this book. I really feel if you are a fan of Lisa’s you would enjoy this. Like I previously stated this book would not have been a first choice pick to review, but I would have been wrong not to read this wonderfully written read.
Heat Rating Sweet
Reviewed By Rae
Courtesy Of My Book Addiction And More