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on Feb. 17, 2012 :
Rescued from certain death by the call of her dying mother’s last tear, infant Jiang Li is nursed by the forest guardian White Tiger Mother and entrusted to the care of the childless elderly couple Hua and Lok.
Providence, however, has perhaps not looked kindly on the infant. Swaddled in a torn piece of green silk bearing the imperial seal, it is clear that despite her wishes, Jiang Li’s destiny will not be that of a simple goatherd, nor may she walk the path of a wife or mother. Secretly trained in the way of the staff by the guardian of the southern forest, the great silver mountain ape Grandfather Wang, she must heed the call of her destiny and become the Warrior Woman who carries the only hope of saving the State of Yueh.
Across the countryside, where the lands of Yueh and Wu meet, another woman called Lin Yao has also been touched by fate. Determined to become a healer, she has also felt the pull of destiny—and so as she becomes a warrior herself, she takes the name of Brother Rat and prepares to battle for the State of Wu. An inevitable collision awaits these two heroic women. Meeting in dreams, the two train for what each knows can only be a battle to the death, yet between them grows a deep respect and sisterly affection that remains untouched by the knowledge that their only meeting will result in tragedy.
Fans of My Adventures as Brother Rat, a retelling of the classic historical Chinese poem The Ballad of Fa Mulan, are in for a treat. Also set during the Warring States Period of Ancient China (around 475 BC to 221 BC).
Jiang Li: Warrior Woman of Yueh expands on the story of Brother Rat’s most compelling adversary, the skilled stick-fighter Jiang Li. Based loosely on the Wuxia (martial arts) story “Sword of the Yueh Maiden” by Jin Yong (Louis Cha), this companion novella offers additional depth and insight into the mythology of the Brother Rat universe.
(reviewed the day of purchase)