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A sweeping coming-of-age epic, The Lacquered Talisman launches the story of one of the most influential figures in Chinese history. He is the son of a beancurd seller and he will found the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368-1644. Known as "Fortune" as a boy, Zhu Yuanzhang has a large and doting family who shepherd him through hardship until drought ravages the countryside and heralds a plague. Left with nothing but a lacquered necklace from his grandfather, Chen the Diviner, Fortune is deposited in the village temple and is soon wandering the countryside as a begging monk. He encounters pockets of resistance to the ruling Mongol dynasty, studies the stars, and tangles with Taoists as he seeks to understand his destiny. Signs and dreams leave him convinced that he has a special fate. Is he to be the abbot of a monastery? A general? What matters most is that he prove himself to be a filial son.
What if you found out that you could use magic in a world where magic had been dead for a thousand years? That’s the situation that Sirus finds himself in when he discovers a strange Stone buried deep in the underground city of Serris. As the Stone begins to unlock abilities in himself that he never knew he had, he sets out to better uncover the mystery of his strange discovery. Along the way, he finds himself caught in the middle of a brutal civil war and a team of companions who seem to have competing motives of their own. Everything changes, though, when an ancient evil resurfaces and Sirus finds out that he’s the only one who can stop it. Unsure of who to trust, Sirus must unite the warring factions and uncover the secrets of his own power before it’s too late.
"The Talisman" takes place in the camp of the Crusaders in Palestine. Scheming and partisan politics, as well as the illness of King Richard the Lionheart, are placing the Crusade in danger. The main characters are the Scottish knight Kenneth, a fictional version of David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon, who returned from the third Crusade in 1190; Richard the Lionheart; Saladin; and Edith Plantagenet, a relative of Richard. "The Betrothed" takes place in the Welsh Marches during the latter part of the reign of Henry II, after 1187. Eveline, the 16-year-old daughter of Sir Raymond Berenger, is rescued from a Welsh siege by the forces of Damian Lacy. She is betrothed to his uncle, Sir Hugo, who leaves on a crusade. Rebels led by Ranald Lacy attempt to kidnap her, and Damian fights them off, but a confused sequence of events convinces the King that she and her beloved are in league against him. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet. He was the first modern English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.
The Betrothed is the first of two Tales of the Crusaders. The action takes place in the Welsh Marches during the latter part of the reign of Henry II, after 1187. Eveline, the 16-year-old daughter of Sir Raymond Berenger, is rescued from a Welsh siege by the forces of Damian Lacy. She is betrothed to his uncle, Sir Hugo, who leaves on a crusade. Rebels led by Ranald Lacy attempt to kidnap her, and Damian fights them off, but a confused sequence of events convinces the King that she and her beloved are in league against him. The Talisman takes place at the end of the Third Crusade, mostly in the camp of the Crusaders in Palestine. Scheming and partisan politics, as well as the illness of King Richard the Lionheart, are placing the Crusade in danger. The main characters are the Scottish knight Kenneth, a fictional version of David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon, who returned from the third Crusade in 1190; Richard the Lionheart; Saladin; and Edith Plantagenet, a relative of Richard. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet. He was the first modern English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

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