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Ride a Pale Horse
Helen MacInnes
The Samurai's Wife
Laura Joh Rowland

Dragon / by Jeff Stone ; narrated by Kiki Barrera

Dragon - Jeff Stone

And so, The Five Ancestors series comes to a close.  The ending of the series was very martial arts-y.  It's not that it ended with lots of action (although, it did), it's that it came full circle.  In martial arts this idea of a circle, of the beginning being the end, and the end being the beginning, of a journey starting at a destination,  is a *big deal*.  It might even be the biggest deal.  And true to proper martial arts form and ethos, The Five Ancestors comes full circle.


I've offered up a lot of complaints about the series, but overall it gets it right.  The martial arts is right (and by that I mean the philosophy more than the action, although that rings true, too), the entertainment is right, the message is right.  I critiqued, but I enjoyed, too.


The series is violent and bloody in spots, but I'd argue that it's no worse than what's served up in The Hunger Games.  It might even be less shocking than what's in those books.  I do think that this series is appropriate for upper elementary and middle school kids, and I think it could really appeal to reluctant readers who like action, anime, or fast-paced exciting video games.  In other words, to my nephew.  Unfortunately, he's seven, and while I *know* he'd dig this series, his mom would need to check these out before I'd feel comfortable reading these with him.


The Five Ancestors is a respectable series.  Like every martial artist, it is not perfect, especially in the beginning.  But like every good martial artist, it perseveres, and in the end it achieves its goal and looks ahead to the next.