Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
Jiaolong speaks to her daughter: “I follow the Iron Way… the world of wushu. Of martial arts… The wushu warrior steps outside society. Their lord is their master, their teacher. Their brothers are those they fight beside… Those who fight the Iron Way have their own code of justice. The best of them keep to the narrow path.”
That road leads warriors, she says, to “right wrongs, challenge unjust rulers, remove oppressors, bring retribution to the corrupt… You must be loyal, fearless, just, benevolent. And you must forego wealth and glory. And often much more.”
This, then, is the world of the wushu warrior, originating in the 3rd century BC. It’s the narrow way followed by the protagonists of this novel: Yu Shu Lien, or Shulien, and Mubai, her lover, who is now deceased. Theirs was a story of love denied to honor the memory of Mubai’s best friend, a man once betrothed to Shulien. During the same time period, we read of the story of Yu Jiaolong, once also a follower of the Iron Way, and now raising her daughter, Snow Vase, to be a wushu warrior.
Great battles, displaying mesmerizing skills of kung-fu (a form of wushu), fill these pages as thieves vie to steal the wondrous Sword of Destiny, a perfectly crafted sword holding magical power. Snow Vase finds not only the sword but also Wei-fang, a student of Shaolin Monastery: 108 Styles, a kung-fu manual. Netflix will be presenting this astonishing, beautiful, fierce and loving story as a film in February 2016. May it be equally as stunning as this well-crafted historical novel!