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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Mandate of Heaven


A first reads book, Mandate of Heaven is a fun read.

Take a cup of Indiana Jones, a half cup of National Treasure, a quarter cup of Alan Quartermain, a dash of Jack Ryan, pinch of scalawag, smidgen of The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and you've got an entertaining read.

Ethan Chase is a successful treasure hunter, and he has the gold coins to prove it. He decides to impress Lindsay, a lovely lady he's met only to find out she's a secret agent for a not to be named government agency. 

He's arrested for being a deserter from the army and sent to Leavenworth.

After he's proven his army ranger skills when attacked he's black bagged and taken to a non-disclosed site. Here he meets Victor, a man who can make a phone call and get the president while on the golf course, to answer on the second ring.

He's given the choice of finding a jade statue of a dragon known as the Mandate of Heaven. An object once possessed by the first emperor of China, Qui Huang. It is supposed to bestow on its owner great power. 

Some clues have been found about its location and the Chinese government is searching for it.

Victor is adamant that he gets it first. Ethan's only other option is to go back to prison for the next 20 years.

The big secret throughout the book is why Ethan deserted during wartime. 

Victor insists Lindsay is going with him on the mission. Naturally Ethan is skeptical that a hunk of jade has magical powers, and he doesn't need a babysitter, but Victor gets what he wants. He does supply logistical support and weapons when needed. 

Ethan contacts his friend in Pakistan who guides him to on his treasure hunts. He gets from Muhammed the name of Wei in China who is capable and acts as interpreter. He brings along a boyhood buddy named Franky to make a foursome.

In China they encounter the Chinese opposition lead by Qiang, now working for the government, but Wei knows him from working with the triads.

They know the starting place for the clues, and it leads them to the hidden tomb of Genghis Khan, from there after getting by booby traps and being chased by Qiang they head to a mythical island where the Mandate of Heaven is located.

On the way to the top of the mountain they pass statues of eight gods in Taoism, each symbolizing an aspect of the belief.

This is more than just an adventure, there's a lot of history, adventure, budding romance, mysticism and philosophy.

When they get the jade dragon, they don't want it to get into either China's or Victor's hands. There is a way to destroy the power and they decide to do that, but Victor and Qiang are waiting for them.

Get on for a fun ride. It's the first book on Ethan Chase with hopefully many more to come.


Berthold Gambrel said...

Great review. Peter is a really good young author and his work deserves to be widely read. Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it!

P M Prescott said...

Always welcome your comments, Berthod.