Hundred Beam Bridge: the Lions and the Pixius
The Arslans were notable for their mastery of bow-making and weaponry. Hasan took over the business and pushed it to new heights. With the business going well and his wife by his side, life seemed almost perfect. Because he was a foreigner, he wasn’t fully welcomed, and he longed for the respect he truly deserved. Hasan would do anything to rise in his ranks at the Imperial Court, even if it meant buttering up to the decision-makers. Hasan is blessed with two sons, Hajji and Kara. Hajji is the child of his first wife, and Kara is the son of his wife’s sister. There is an invisible competition between the mothers— they both want their sons to inherit the family fortune.
Although it rightfully belongs to Hajji as the first son, Hasan is not fully confident in the boy. First, he lacked discipline, had little interest in the family business, and had a great liking for Cuju, a football game. Unlike Hajji, Kara is more focused and eventually becomes the heir of the family’s empire, although Hajji could also participate in decision-making and rule over the business. Hasan gets his wish of increasing his rank when he demonstrates his bravery during the war with Xixie. When Hasan dies, his sons take over, and although the business flourishes, there is some competition between the wives.
Another war ransacks the Song Empire, and the emperor runs for safety. The Jins destroy most of the land, and the people are strewn apart. Kara must protect his family and their treasures, including the heirlooms called Pixius. There’s an intriguing history about Pixius; find out in the book. What does the future hold for the Arslan clan?
There are so many things to love about the book. The characters were wonderful and unique, my favorite being Hasan. The book had the right amount of culture, drama, action, romance, and adventure. I admire the friendship between Peony and Pearl, who were teenage maids in the court.
I also loved reading the conversations between the competing wives; it added more spice to the book. Although Hajji and Kara are brothers, they have diverse personalities, but one thing they have in common is their family interests. I learned a lot about Chinese culture and traditions from this book. I could picture some of the scenes in my head, relating them to what I’ve seen in the movies. Hundred Beam Bridge</em<> by Ted Marr is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction.
|Page Count||351 pages|
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