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Thirteen Orphans by Jane Lindskold
Cover Artist: Sam Weber
Review by Sam Lubell
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765317001
Date: 11 November 2008 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Thirteen Orphans, the first book in an ongoing series by the author of the Through Wolf's Eyes series has an unusual premise. Set in the present day, the book is based on Chinese astrology and characters do magic with mah-jong tiles. Although the first book in a series, Lindskold provides a resolution for the initial situation before turning everything on its head to prepare for the next book.

From official release/information:

Product Description: Thirteen Orphans makes our world today as excitingly strange and unfamiliar as any fantasy realm . . .and grants readers a glimpse of a fantasy world founded by ancient Chinese lore and magic.

As far as college freshman Brenda Morris knows, there is only one Earth and magic exists only in fairy tales. Brenda is wrong.

A father-daughter weekend turns into a nightmare when Brenda's father is magically attacked before her eyes. Brenda soon learns that her ancestors once lived in world of smoke and shadows, of magic and secrets.

When that world's Emperor was overthrown, the Thirteen Orphans fled to our earth and hid their magic system in the game of mah-jong. Each Orphan represents an animal from the Chinese Zodiac. Brenda's father is the Rat. And her polished, former child-star aunt, Pearl—that eminent lady is the Tiger.

Only a handful of Orphans remain to stand against their enemies. The Tiger, the Rooster, the Dog, the Rabbit . . . and Brenda Morris. Not quite the Rat, but not quite human either.

(Source: Tor Books)

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