Snake (The Five Ancestors #3)

Title: Snake

Author: Jeff Stone

Unlike his brothers Fu and Malao, Seh (the “snake”) is much more detached and logical. His first thoughts upon the temple’s destruction are how he can turn the situation to his advantage. And so begins a curious journey through a bandit’s lair and the perils of family. As Ying and his devastating qiangs continue to reshape the world, can the boys continue to survive?

After two impulsive main characters, Seh was a nice change. He’s solitary, preferring nature to people, and he’s got a few tricks other than kung-fu. Sensing chi is fairly typical of martial arts stories, but it is nice to see the series branching beyond the merely physical.

The convoluted plot is still unfolding. Tonglong is ascending at Ying’s expense . . . but are his motives good or evil? It is a little amusing the scrolls are doing as well as they have been, considering how much they’ve been manhandled, dunked in water, and so on. There is a small amount of overlap with the previous books but most of this is new material.

For those who liked the first books, this one continues to drive a strong story. It will be interesting to see how the intrigue plays out. I rate this book Recommended.

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