Author: Jeff Stone
Hok has always needed to be more careful than her brothers—no one must know she is a girl. And not only a girl, but a girl with brown hair, whose color will betray her mixed blood. After the temple is destroyed, she finds an unexpected chance at new life. But the secrets that placed her at the temple as a child, the national intrigue that continues to broil, and the false accusations laid against her will make any kind of life difficult. . .
Hok’s perspective is similar to Seh, in that she’s much more likely to think things through before doing them. Unlike Seh, however, she’s more relationally-focused. On the one hand, that makes sense as her past required her to constantly be aware of what other people noticed about her. On the other, though, she’s just much better than he is at reading people.
There is an interesting twist involving Seh about halfway through that did a lot to show both his character and hers, and force them into a much more dependent teamwork. In some ways this is his story as much as hers. There’s another interesting twist that implies Hok has probably done the most of any of them so far when it comes to fulfilling Grandmaster’s request to win Ying over.
Now that the separate storylines look to be closing in, it will be interesting to see how the plot proceeds. One thing I don’t know if the kids have realized yet is that the changing national forces will deeply affect them no matter what happens with Tonglong and the others. They’ve certainly managed to get the Emporer’s attention . . . I rate this book Recommended.