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PHOENIX by Jeff Stone


From the Five Ancestors Out of the Ashes series, volume 1

by Jeff Stone

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-87018-7
Publisher: Random House

Kung fu, bicycle racing and an ancient Chinese supersteroid provide the central elements for a spinoff series opener set in the modern era from the creator of the Five Ancestors heptalogy.

Learning to his amazement that his “grandfather” is actually almost 400 years old, orphaned Indiana teenager and gifted trail-bike racer Phoenix finds himself on a fast flight to China after intruders steal the “dragon bone” dietary supplement that has been keeping the beloved old man alive. The quest takes him from Kaifeng—where he falls in with live-wire, if not (as it turns out) entirely trustworthy, beauty Hú Dié, who is as good as he is on a bike and better in a fight—to Texas. There he engages in an extended and violent climactic dust-up with the baddies scheming to (mis)use the dragon bone as a performance enhancer. Stone stirs in characters and locales that connect new series with old. He also mixes plenty of well-informed racing-bike talk and action (on trail and cyclocross courses alike) with spectacular feats of kung fu, battles against well-armed heavies, comedic and sentimental moments, twists of fortune and other conventions of martial-arts tales.

A thrill ride from start to finish for fans of high-speed plank hurdles and scorpion kicks alike. (Fantasy. 11-13)