The Stove Guild rules both the culinary industry and the kung fu underworld. Young Lin Chih-Ta dreams of rising to the top of both disciplines. But when his mother, the Guild’s new leader, is poisoned, Lin must travel through time in search of a cure.
Lin Chih-Ta is the talented, ambitious son of the up-and-coming leader of the Stove Guild, a secret society that rules both the culinary industry and the kung fu underworld. His dream is to rise to the top of both disciplines and become a peerless kung fu chef. Yet on the day his mother is inaugurated leader of the Guild, someone slips a deadly poison into her food that paralyzes her completely.
Desperate to save his mother, Lin Chih-Ta learns that the only possible cure is a mystical practice called Full Channel kung fu, now more legend than fact. He must employ the magic of the Guild’s most precious artifact to travel through time in search of a teacher, yet that is no easy solution. The artifact brings him back half a millennium to the time of the dying Southern Ming dynasty; the two kings whose help he needs are more concerned with undermining each other than reclaiming their country. To make things worse, the black-clad assassin who poisoned Lin Chih-Ta’s mother has followed him through time, intent on taking Lin Chih-Ta’s life.
Kevin Cheng’s work of historical fantasy energizes elements of Chinese imperial history with its unique focus on food. Young readers can immerse themselves in the historical background of Chinese culinary tradition while still enjoying a riveting story.