25 Jan 2019

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #32


Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 
The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.

This week in the spotlight:

by Laurence Westwood


Synopsis:

I have been unable to write a judgement that does not seem to offend my conscience, or indeed Heaven, in some manner. Because I do not wish to influence your thinking unduly, I have destroyed all my personal papers and notes in regard to this dispute, preferring you to start afresh. Forgive me for this. All I ask is that you consider and examine Jade Moon most carefully before coming to a decision. I find her fascinating and unsettling in equal measure, and fear the consequences of a wrongful judgement. I will say no more.

My sincerest best wishes to you and your family,

Magistrate Qian
Fifth District, Chengdu Prefecture
1st day of the 2nd Moon, 1085

So ends the letter of welcome (and of warning) to Magistrate Zhu, newly arrived in the remote border town of Tranquil Mountain. He has travelled far from his extensive family estates on the outskirts of Kaifeng – the glorious Song Dynasty capital – hoping to find atonement for past mistakes.

Yet he quickly discovers that Tranquil Mountain is anything but tranquil. The town is beset with simmering tensions since the death of his predecessor. Before Magistrate Zhu even has time to accustom himself to his inexperienced and wayward constabulary and the lowliness of his new surroundings, there is a mysterious murder, rumours of ghosts and blood-thirsty bandits out on the streets, and a disturbing kidnapping to solve – as well as the tragic and tangled legal circumstances of the local heroine Jade Moon to unravel.

For the balance of Heaven and Earth to be maintained, and to prevent catastrophe coming to Tranquil Mountain, Magistrate Zhu is well aware that not a single injustice can be allowed to stand. As he struggles to reach the correct judgements, he realises he has no choice but to offer up his career and perhaps even his own life for the greater good. And, in so doing, he discovers that as Jade Moon’s fate rests in his hands, so his fate ultimately rests in hers.


 Book Beginning:

"At least something will happen now," said Fast Deng, excited by the news.

(from Chapter 1)

And just like that I'm pulled into the story... What's the news??



The Friday 56:

Magistrate Zhu smiled again, warmly, and Senior Scribe Xu could only nod, as if sagely, hoping that would suffice. He was having trouble keeping up with the Magistrate's quick changes of mood and tone. He wondered if he was being teased... or even tormented.

 Magistrate Zhu's personality fascinates me.


Which book have you featured in your Friday post today? 
Leave a link below so I can visit your blog!

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