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Writing history[ edit ] Drawing from the years Chan spent living in Hong Kong,  and her careful research into Chinese myth and philosophy, the trilogy introduces Emma Donahoe, who takes a job as nanny to the daughter of a wealthy businessman. Unaware at first that he is in reality a Chinese god, she is drawn into a world of martial arts and magic where gods and demons walk the streets. On her publisher's website Kylie Chan explains how she came to write The Dark Heavens trilogy, saying that after she returned to live in Australia, she read her way through every fantasy title she could find. Basing her writing on the genres she enjoyed - romance, action and the supernatural, and adding her knowledge of, and research into Chinese mythology and Taoist philosophy she created the first in the series, White Tiger. The first of these trilogies is the 'Journey to Wudang ' trilogy, the third book of which was released in Kylie Chan has a website and forum, where she can sometimes be found interacting with readers and answering questions.
Venus arrived five minutes later, accompanied by a pair of Retainers who had taken the form of burlyChinese bodyguards. He was in the form of a mid-thirties Chinese, slim and elegant, wearing a tailoredgrey silk suit, his long hair held in a traditional topknot and flowing to his waist. The waiter escorted himto my table, did the napkin and water thing, then hurried back to the entrance to take the bodyguards to another table nearby.
A couple of diners noticed thebodyguards and took surreptitious photos of us with their mobile phones, probably hoping to catch aminor celebrity meeting with his foreign mistress to sell to a gossip magazine.
Unfortunately for them, allthey would get would be movement-blurred images no matter how still they held the phone. Venus toasted me with his glass of water: Lady Emma. It was a polite alternative to thetraditional salute in a modern setting. I nodded and toasted him back, then we checked the menus.
Theoptions hadnt changed much since we were last there so I just folded it and waited for him. Lord Leo wasnt able to join us? I asked him to come along, but he said he had some errands to attend to at the bank, I said. Hes still establishing his identity, and the bank is giving him trouble about the new accounts. He doesnt need to worry about these Earthly issues any more, Venus said. Whyhasnt he taken up residence on the Celestial where he belongs?
He says he belongs here with us, his family, I said. Venus nodded his understanding. He is unusual in his swift return to what he was doing before he wasRaised. Do you think it has something to do with his Western heritage? Most Chinese are well aware ofwhat lies in store for them should they attain Immortality. Westerners, however, seem to have littleidea. That may have something to do with it, I said. What did Meredith do? I have only recently made Master Lius acquaintance, Im afraid.
You should probably askher. Id venture a guess that she was assisted by her husband.
I nodded; that made sense. Leo must start to take his place among us, Lady Emma. He should be at your side when you areundertaking your official duties in the Northern Heavens. He is the Retainer of the First Heavenly Generalnow, not a simple human bodyguard. Try telling him that, I said. And good luck. The waiter approached us, ready to take our order, and I opened the menu and pointed. Hainan chicken, Venus said, and I choked with laughter.
He looked at me. Very good, the waiter said, and took our menus. No, thank you, we said together, and the waiter nodded and left. Whats so funny about Hainan chicken? Venus said. Do you know what steak frites is? Its a restaurant in New York. No, the dish itself. Venus nodded. Steak and chips.
Horrible Western meal. Well, Western restaurants all over the world do steak and chips, from the most down-marketgreasy-spoon diner to the top five-star hotel restaurant. Its everywhere, they just make it with lessor more expensive ingredients and trimmings. And this has to do with Hainan chicken how? Venus said, then his face cleared.
Its thesame, isnt it. You can go get Hainan chicken from one of those chain cafeterias, or from a noodleshop in Tsim Sha Tsui, or from a top-class hotel like this.
Its the same dish, just with differenttrimmings. And everybody orders it! Well, its good, Venus said.
Not when the chickens so underdone that the bones are red, I grumbled quietly. Chicken is best underdone, it is tough when overcooked, Venus protested. You are with aCelestial, you have no health risk! He realised he had been speaking too loudly and dropped hisvoice, his face alight with mirth. The best chicken is done so that the meat is just cooked and thebones are still raw. It is a shame that in the last ten years or so they have become concerned about thingslike bird flu and have started cooking the chicken all the way through.
Terrible waste. Our dishes arrived; mine was a monstrous plate of ribbon pasta with a thick creamy cheese sauce andlarge pieces of broccoli, carrot and mushroom. Venuss Hainan chicken was presented on an elegantplatter, with one dish holding the gently boiled and cut-up chicken; three small sauce bowls; a bowl ofrice that had been steamed in chicken stock; and a bowl of the stock as a soup.
He gestured dismissively towards the meat. Cooked all the way through. At leastthey have chilled the skin so that it has become jellywhite chicken. You do realise that if they roasted the chicken, the skin would become crisp and juicy? Dear Lord.
Get that man a NannyCam, stat. I turned back. Both of them were watching me with admiration. It is a repeated point that Emma is cold-blooded. Emma is either ridiculously daft and immature or cold and calm and mature. Something about Emma is very much in conflict with herself. Obviously, Emma was the epicenter of my problems with the story. The other characters were consistent, if simplistic. Simone was ridiculous perfect oh, that all nanny jobs were as simple as that one and Leo shifted from one of three moods angry, really angry, or quiet, with the occasional appearance of mellow, shortly replaced by angry and Chen was enigmatic and firm, but Emma drove me up a freaking wall.
The characters are boxed narrowly in characterization and motivation. It was like Hong Kong-set narrative crack!
White Tiger is available for pre-order from Amazon. It may also appear in stock at Book Depository. In this book, John has died but not really, because he s immortal he will be back, at some point , and Emma has been left in charge She s amazingly powerful and respected, and John s daughter is about the most powerful creature of all time They spend the whole book fighting demons, and it s incredibly boring because they inevitably win, and marvel at their respective powerfulness It doesn t create suspense for a reader to want one answer for multiple books It creates annoyance I would like to know what Emma is, just because You know what I don t even know why I ll wind up reading the next two, because they are in my library ebook collection The writing suffers from the characters never planning anything in advance There are jarring breaks between scenes and situations, some of which left me scratching my head There are characters who are just thrown in ther It doesn t create suspense for a reader to want one answer for multiple books It creates annoyance I would like to know what Emma is, just because You know what I don t This is the first book in the Journey to Wudang trilogy, by the Bestselling Author of White Tiger Unfortunately, nowhere on or in the book does it mention that this is actually a followup trilogy, to the trilogy of which White Tiger is the first book Bad marketing, bad No biscotti.
So it drops you right in amongst a largish cast of characters that it assumed I already knew, eight years after a series of monumental events I wasn t familiar with This made getting into it somewhat difficult. On This is the first book in the Journey to Wudang trilogy, by the Bestselling Author of White Tiger Unfortunately, nowhere on or in the book does it mention that this is actually a followup trilogy, to the trilogy of which White Tiger is the first book Bad marketing, bad No biscotti.
On th Kylie Chan doesn t give you time to dip your toe in the pool before she throws you in the deep end in her follow up to the Dark Heavens series Things move quickly, introductions are only for the completely new characters, and references to the previous work are so oblique as to leave a new reader clueless and experienced ones uncertain.