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Thirteen orphans
Lindskold, Jane M.
Adult Fiction LINDSKO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Lindskold (Through Wolf's Eyes) delivers an enjoyable but unremarkable series launch. Brenda Morris, an innocent quarter-Chinese college student, is abruptly thrust into the hidden world of the Thirteen Orphans, descendants of magicians who take the forms of Chinese zodiac animals and draw magic from the game of mah-jongg. Brenda fights valiantly against otherworld elements who seek to steal the Orphans' power, but indulges in a painfully juvenile crush on a killer who attacks her father. From a fascinating premise, the narrative stalls repeatedly under the weight of awkward exposition, explanation of magic and mah-jongg and analysis of offscreen events. Stiff, unrealistic dialogue interrupts crisp, clean narrative prose. The only sparkle comes from mysterious assassins Flying Claw and Righteous Drum. After this serviceable setup, readers will mostly hope for the interesting sequel promised by the abrupt conclusion. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When 19-year-old Brenda Morris witnesses what appears to be a magical attack against her father, she uncovers the secret history of her family and 12 others, each former inhabitants of the world of Smoke and Shadows and now exiled to Earth after the overthrow of their emperor. The Thirteen Orphans, as the exiles and their descendants are called, are named after the houses of the Chinese Zodiac plus the Cat, and the ancient Chinese game of mah-jongg hides their magic, which must be recovered before Orphans are destroyed and their way home closed forever. This new series launch by the author of the "Firekeeper" series (e.g., Through Wolf's Eyes) deftly mingles the fascination of the mah-jongg tiles and the animal lore of the Chinese Zodiac with a modern tale of discovery and danger. This urban fantasy should appeal to fans of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher and is an excellent choice for most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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