During the ancient Shang Dynasty, five lavish carriages arrive at the shores of a blood-red river. Though they appear to be a merchant caravan bound for a neighboring kingdom, the carriages hold more than trade goods. Among their cargo is a sickly Shang prince upon whose shoulders rests the fate of a dynasty.
It is the second millennium BC, and the Shang dynasty rules over a mystical ancient China, where sorcerers are employed at court to dispel hexes and commune with the gods, while factions within the royal family scheme for power over the throne.
Sunlight dances across the surface of a blood-red river as five ornately decorated merchant carriages arrive at the riverbank. Though they appear to be a merchant caravan bound for a neighboring kingdom, the carriages are in fact charged with safeguarding the royal bloodline – their secret cargo a Shang prince seeking treatment for a devastating disease.
As the caravan approaches the bank, they are ambushed and taken prisoner by the fishfolk, humanoid creatures covered in turquoise scales. To make matters worse, a rival queen consort has sent a henchman after the caravan, a murderous sorcerer who has less-than-benevolent plans for the sickly prince! Beset by intrigues within and enemies without, the clever prince must increasingly rely on his own wits to find a treatment for his illness and face down the dark secrets of the Shang royal clan.
Working from her strong foundation in martial arts fiction, author Zheng Feng adds elements of political intrigue and magic to create a vision of ancient China teeming with sorcery, fantastic creatures, and Machiavellian plots. Readers of Chronicles of the Sorcerer King will thrill to bloody betrayals worthy of Game of Thrones, and a feat of world building that combines the best of Chinese history and folklore.