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The Jade Owl (The Jade Owl Legacy Book 1) by [Patterson, Edward C.]
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The Jade Owl (The Jade Owl Legacy Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description

In China they whisper about the Jade Owl and its awful power. This ancient stone, commissioned by the Empress Wu and crafted by a mineral charmer, long haunted the folk of the Middle Kingdom until it vanished into an enigma of legend and lore. Now the Jade Owl is found. It wakes to steal the day from day. Its power to enchant and distort rises again. Its horror is revealed to a band of five, who must return it to the Valley of the Dead before the laws of ch’i are set aside in favor of destruction’s dance. Five China Hands, each drawn through time’s thin fabric by the bird, discover enchantment on the secret garland. Five China Hands, and one holds the key to the world’s fate. Five China Hands. Only one Jade Owl - but it’s awake and in China, they whisper again.

Professor Rowden Gray has come to San Francisco following a new opportunity at the East Asian Arts and Culture Museum, only to find that the opportunity has evaporated. Desperate, he means to end his career in a muddle of pity and Scotch, but then things happen. He latches on to a fascinating young man who is pursuing a lost relic that Professor Gray has in fact been seeking. Be careful for what you seek - you may just find it. Thus begins a journey that takes the professor and his companions on a spirited adventure across three-thousand miles of Chinese culture and mystery - a quest to fulfill a warrant long set out to ignite the world in myth and legend. The Jade Owl is the beginning of a series - a legacy that fulfills a terrible truth; and in China, they whisper again.

A Finalist in the 2009 RAINBOW AWARDS

Review from Rainbow Reviews

Sinologist Professor Rowden Gray receives the opportunity of his professional lifetime, a curator position at the fabled San Francisco East Asian Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture, which houses the collection of his late mentor, "Old China Hand" John Battle. Battle's great work had been discredited due to his insistence on the Jade Owl, a mysterious missing artifact commissioned by China's only Empress. When RG arrives, he immediately discovers the position has been rescinded, he encounters a strange young man who proves to be Battle's prodigal son, and learns the Jade Owl really exists. Plunging into a drama worthy of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler, the soon-boon companions and several others are off on a life-and-death chase through San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong as the portal into China.

The Jade Owl is a nonstop, don't miss page turner and only the first in a quintology, The Jade Owl Legacy series. Readers, run, do not walk to your nearest book outlet and grab this intriguing gay mystery with its fully realized characters, gay and straight and bi, roller-coaster plotting, and paranormal fantasy elements. The Jade Owl is a true winner.

Review from Aricia Gavrial's Book Reviews:

In this novel, the artifact is an ancient Chinese object, a six inch piece of Jade carved in the likeness of an owl -- and it's actually a key that opens a box known as the Joy of Finches. What's in the box? That would be telling! But everybody wants the key.

The first thing that impressed me about Jade Owl was how knowledgeable about Chinese antiquities the writer is, and about China itself. Shanghai and Beijing are described with the same amount of detail and enthusiasm as San Francisco -- and never having been to either China or the USA myself, I really appreciated the "local color." Many writers, when setting their plots in London, New York, what have you, seem to think that everyone's been there and knows intimately every secret of the city. Not true. So, the first level where Jade Owl succeeds is in "selling me" San Francisco, which is the setting for the first long segment of the book.

Jade Owl is a real treat, on a par with the top-notch writers who sell in the gajillions. The Jade Owl is an extremely good read.

About the Author

Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further postgraduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 2000 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring. Published Novels by Edward C. Patterson include No Irish Need Apply, Bobby's Trace, Cutting the Cheese, Surviving an American Gulag, Turning Idolater and The Jade Owl (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book I). Coming soon: The Third Peregrination (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book II), The Dragon's Pool (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book III), Southern Swallow (Nan Ya), Look Away, Silence, Belmundus, The Road to Grafenwoehr, and Green Folly. Look also for The People's Treasure (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book IV) and In the Shadow of Her Hem (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book V). Poetry books available are The Closet Clandestine: a queer steps out and Come, Wewoka - and - Diary of Medicine Flower.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1536 KB
  • Print Length: 600 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (Oct. 23 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001J54AWO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #368,405 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 14 2011
Format: Paperback
Professor Rowden Gray, a Sung Dynasty expert, is furious. The curator's position he was supposed to start at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Art and Culture has been snapped away. Rowden's devastated at the thought of returning to teaching, but when he's approached by a rather brazen museum employee, Rowden's life takes an unexpected turn. The employee, Nick, is on a quest to find a mysterious, ancient figurine known as The Jade Owl, believed to have belonged to Empress Wu thirteen centuries earlier, and he needs Rowden's expertise to accomplish this quest. It doesn't take Rowden long to realize that this mission is not only dangerous, but could change--if not end--their lives.

The Jade Owl is filled with thrills, mysticism, and adventure that captivated me from the beginning. The author's knowledge of Chinese culture and geography adds authenticity to the story; but beyond this, he's created memorable and likeable characters with distinctive voices.

The book's omniscient viewpoint allows the reader into different characters' heads, and the author even speaks directly to the reader at times, which for me, was a bit intrusive, (although this style was common earlier in the twentieth century). The ending was satisfying, although the epilog a little long. Still, there's enough juicy foreshadowing to make me want to pick up the next book. Enjoy!
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Not a bad premise, but in need of a good editor. The story was lost amid to many misapplied metaphors. The author may also want to put away the thesaurus - many of the sentences became disjointed due to poor word choice. As well the overall wordiness, rather than helping the story along, actually bogged the story down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9deb0444) out of 5 stars 38 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dec7fc0) out of 5 stars James Clavell meets Indiana Jones in this China Mystery! Dec 22 2008
By Todd A Fonseca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After relocating from New York City to take on the position of a lifetime, sinologist Professor Rowden Gray learns upon his arrival that his position at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture has been eliminated. Furious with the last minute turn of events, Gray stumbles upon Nick Battle who is none other than the son of Gray's long time mentor - John Battle. Gray finds that Nick possesses The Jade Owl an ancient Chinese relic previously believed to be the stuff of legend. They discover that The Jade Owl may open a sister relic The Joy of Finches held captive in the Museum's Asian display. Together they find The Jade Owl to be more than a relic, but the key to finding the lost tomb of the only empress to rule over the middle kingdom - Wu Tze-t'ien.

An eclectic expedition team including Gray, Nick, Nick's life partner and drag queen - Simone, a one-eyed Cherokee - Griffen, and Chinese American martial arts expert - Audrey, set out to return The Jade Owl to the empress. However, the Owl reveals itself to be much more than a relic, but a vessel for controlling, channeling, and altering Chi creating unspeakable power. These China Hands must return the Owl in time or unleash it's dangers to the world.

In The Jade Owl, Edward C. Patterson does a masterful job at taking the reader deep into a journey of China's cultural treasures. The history, foods, people, architecture, politics, even aromas of Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin, are carefully and beautifully conveyed and Patterson's expertise in this area shines. He has also created characters so real that one feels they are reading a diary of life experiences as opposed to fictional fantasy. As a result, The Jade Owl has all of the intrigue and interest of an Indiana Jones mystery but is grounded in the reality of true to life characters making it more satisfying in the end.

My only hesitation to giving this novel 5 stars was the lack of conflict and action driving the first half of the book. While the mystery of The Jade Owl is the backbone of the story, it seemed to fade to the background in the first half in favor of the rich cultural excursions the expedition team took as they traveled China. None-the-less, this is a very satisfying read and Patterson is a very accomplished writer.

For those looking for the cultural intrigue of the middle kingdom and a fantastical mystery involving ancient relics of a long forgotten empress, The Jade Owl delivers. It is the first of the five book Jade Owl legacy.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9def1030) out of 5 stars A magnificent start of a literary legacy March 14 2009
By ellen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9def130c) out of 5 stars Richly Textured Adventure April 6 2009
By L.C. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edward C. Patterson's beautiful style of writing brought life to both his characters and his setting. His knowledge of Chinese culture, history, and present day China, showed through in every scene. The characters (go, Simone!) were wonderful and well-drawn and the descriptions put me right in the picture. I feel that after having read The Jade Owl I could travel to China and not be overly surprised by cultural differences because I've already experienced them in this book. The story itself is a thrilling adventure, with touches of the supernatural. Professor Rowden Gray, along with his group of China Hands, has to overcome pursuit by greedy treasure hunters out to stop them from fulfilling their mission. After a series of misadventures, including big trouble from a customs inspector and an overzealous tour guide, the group faces the greatest danger of all when an ancient mission is fulfilled.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9def1204) out of 5 stars High adventure at its best! June 8 2010
By J. Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Imagine a modern day "Lord of the Rings" and set the story in the lush backdrop of China, and that's my impression of Ed Patterson's gripping novel "The Jade Owl." Five intrepid adventurers are commissioned by a San Francisco museum to travel to China on a mission to trade historical artifacts with the Chinese. What the museum doesn't know is that the team is also carrying the Jade Owl, an ancient mysterious jade carving that is purported to have supernatural powers.

And what a team it is: Rowden "Rowdy" Gray, a college professor; Nick Battle, the son of a legendary Sinologist; Nick's partner and flaming drag queen Simon Geldfarb (aka Simone DeLefleurry); Xiao Ao-ti (Audrey), a young Chinese-American martial arts expert; and Griffen Jones, a one-eyed American Indian artist.

Before long the eclectic group is in China, where they begin their journey to find the hidden tomb of the Empress Wu Tze-t'ien, who was buried many centuries ago. Their mission is to take the Jade Owl to the tomb in order to - yes - save the world. Unfortunately for the group, there are plenty of bad guys around who want the Jade Owl and will stop at nothing to get it. Each member of the tightly-knit group has their chance to thwart the bad guys, and many times, it's Simon/Simone who demonstrates that he's not just there for comic relief.

During the group's journey, the Jade Owl demonstrates its vast powers, even ripping the fabric of space and time. It's up to the group to try to control the owl until they have completed their mission, a task easier said than done. The climactic scene is a real dandy, one of the most jaw-dropping climaxes I've read in a long time.

The author, Ed Patterson, has written a bang-up action-adventure thriller that pulled me in immediately. Although "The Jade Owl" is a standalone book, I know there are several spinoffs from the book, and after reading "The Jade Owl," I'm definitely hooked.

Bottom line: Two thumbs up and five stars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9def13f0) out of 5 stars The beginnign of an exciting series March 2 2009
By Lily Mackay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Edward C Patterson has written what can be called a supernatural suspense/horror story. At the same time it gives a colorful description of the gay and drag culture of San Francisco and is a loving portrait of the land and people of East Asia, with a good dose of China's cultural and temporal history tossed in for good measure.

In spite of it's size (almost 600 pages)the story is fast-paced. It begins in San Francisco where Professor Rowden Gray, an expert in China's Sung dynasty, is first offered, then denied, a position at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture. Professor Gray had been especially keen on working at the museum because of its housing the collection of artifacts from deceased archeologist John Battle, his former mentor. Shortly after being told that the position he had been offered is no longer available, Professor Gray meets a free-spirited, smart-mouthed, gay, twenty-something man named Nick, whom he eventually discovers is John Battle's son.

From here on the story gets complicated. Professor Gray (Nick calls him Rowdy) is introduced to several people who will either help or hinder him and Nick when they try to return the Jade Owl, a John Battle artifact, to a secret tomb in China. The Jade Owl, it turns out, is more than just an artifact; it has sinister abilities of its own. It can shred the curtain between the material and spiritual worlds, and create portals in time through which visions can be seen and items passed. Not to mention what it can do to people who touch it!

Throughout the book, Patterson's strength is in his ability to describe his characters, and there are many, without turning them into caricatures. His evocation of place--landscapes, cities, hotels--is equally as impressive; so, too his telling of the supernatural shenanigans of the Jade Owl.

I did not care for the choppy nature of some of the sentences in the book, although that can be explained as a literary device to keep the tension high. Also, if one must read it in snatches over a period of weeks, as I did, and one is not familiar with Chinese history, as I am not, I would suggest an immediate re-reading of the story, as I did as well. The book is so full of casually given, and therefore easily missed, information that re-reading it might unearth a few details germane to the action later in the book.

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