Reviewed by Ellen George
A magnificent start of a literary legacy
China, present day and past, is still so mysterious and inviting. Sinologist Edward C. Patterson has written a masterful epic in The Jade Owl that will not only have you glued to this 595 page book, but have you before you are half way through the book, ordering book 2 of this series, The Third Peregrination!
Patterson's masterful story deals with an amazing 'work of art' The Jade Owl, commissioned by Empress Wu, and with its charmer/creator, became the stuff legends are made of from the Middle Kingdom on in China's impressive legends. It is not only a magnificent piece of art, but a metaphysical power that can enchant and destroy. A group of Sinologists from San Francisco become part of The Jade Owl's destiny, including Dr. Rowden Gray, and Nick Battle, son of Grey's former mentor. Nick takes Dr. Gray to Chinatown - the ancient relic The Jade Owl still exists! Battle takes Gray to a club and Gray meets Nick's love, Simone DeLefleurry, or Simon as some may call him. So starts the beginnings of great friendships that encompass continents. The China Hands that were born to find the stuff of legends and must right the laws of ch'i before the Jade Owl and its destructive power literally change life as we know it.
Patterson is a well known sinologist who has taken the legends of China and breathed life into them in a non-stop Indiana Jones meets the Great Wall of China type of adventure. It is an amazing trek into the world of China and its people and history, and a series of love stories.
As a fledgling writer, I am always amazed the brilliance of someone's writing where a complex story is not only told with beauty, but each sentence seems touched by a poetic gleam.
The Jade Owl, like Gary Val Tenuta's The Ezekiel Code, is riveting and unforgettable. Mr. Patterson is a prolific writer, and those works I have been honored to read so far have been told with grace and power.
May The Jade Owl hoot in your ear and have you ordering your copy. The book, the Chinese mythology, the friendships are all truly magical. You will be recommending Edward C. Patterson's books to anyone asking if you happen to know any good books to read - Patterson is a literary force to be reckoned with - much like his metaphysical forces - ethereal as the wind, yet as powerful.