Mark of the Shaolin is the first novel in the Tigers of Wulin, an exciting kung fu filled action series. We have an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming novel, which introduces us to one of the trials that Zhen Di must face.
Zhen Di launched into the whirling death. With the need for constant movement pulling at his tired body, Zhen Di turned and twirled, bending, snaking his way through the deadly Wooden Men. He moved his arms in a constant flow to avoid the sharp- ened limbs, changing direction with each movement.
A few of the limbs made contact, but no more than scratches until one opened a nasty gash across his chest. He was not aware of where the attack had come from, only that the searing sensation burned, and he felt fresh blood flowing down his body. Finally, Zhen Di took the first step into empty space, passing through the Wooden Men alive. He doubled over to catch his breath, only to catch the light from a torch glinting off some- thing metallic. He stood upright, shocked at the new challenge presenting itself. Surely, these warriors were not wooden?
The five men before him stood as rigid as the Wooden Men he had defeated, but they were obviously human. All had their faces covered in cloth the same dark reddish-brown as the Wooden Men and wore what appeared in the dim light to be wooden armour. Shi Zhen Di did not recall ever seeing the other Shaolin Monks dressed in such armour before and wiped the sweat away from his exhausted eyes to see more clearly.
Four of the five men held weapons, the Four Major Weapons: the gun pole, the qiang spear, the dao broadsword, and a jian straight sword. The fifth man was weaponless but, from his for- midable appearance, was obviously not at a disadvantage.
Giving him no time to recover, all five men came at Zhen Di at once. He instinctively backed up but felt the sharp wood scratch against his back, shocking him forward. Grunting in pain, Zhen Di moved away from the Wooden Men to confront the Five Wooden Warriors now upon him.
The Qiang Wooden Warrior attacked first from Zhen Di’s far left, poking the qiang rapidly like a snake striking out. He rolled to the side, only to be hit hard on the injured right shoulder.
The Gun Wooden Warrior had targeted the same spot Zhen Di had grazed when leaping over the headless Wooden Man. He dropped to his knee with the force of the blow and immediately rolled forward, coming up as a bladed weapon sliced overhead. The Dao Wooden Warrior brought the dao broadsword around in a circular motion, and back down vertically toward Zhen Di.
He stepped away, again feeling the gun pole poke into his lower back. Zhen Di knew this must be the final test of the Hall of Wooden Men. Five monks of the Shaolin Temple, disguised as Wooden Men, would either initiate him into their ranks or end his attempt by taking his life. He would not be able to hold back, and neither would they.
This final test would be against his very nature, against all he had learned while in the Shaolin Temple. Should Zhen Di respond to the attacks too passively he would surely die. Should he react with his own death-dealing aggression, he would bring about the death of his brother monks. The balance, the middle ground, would be the only way all six could survive this confrontation.
Zhen Di spun on his feet to place the other four monks behind the Jian Wooden Warrior. He would much prefer to face the Gun Wooden Warrior, if he had a choice, but his objective was to simply put his opponents into such a position that he had to fight only one at a time.
Even the great and all-seeing Buddha himself must wonder if
a simple man, born of a warring family, could escape a fate 1,000 years in creation?
Young Zhen Di, the Shaolin Warrior Monk in training,
will test that which the Buddha and fate lay on his Path.
For fans of Kung Fu action (the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon series and Kung Fu stories of old), The Mark Of The Shaolin, Book 1 in the Tigers of Wulin Trilogy, tells of a young man on his path in the Shaolin Temple to become a legendary Shaolin Warrior Monk. Should Shi Zhen Di survive the ardous training and the final test, the Hall of Wooden Men, where others have failed and paid with their lives, he must chose between the Way of the Shaolin or seek to avenge his family and all they have lost at the hands of a dreaded bandit organization led by his very own elder brother and Master of the Huquan Tiger Fist method, Chen Dao.
Joining Zhen Di on his path of self-discovery is Iron Wu, the Wandering Taoist and master of the Wudang Martial Arts, and Yijun, a young female assassin, as they venture into the Snake’s Den for a final confrontation that will change them all forever.
Martial Artists the world over crave to access the legends and myths surrounding the treasured combat methods of ancient China. Here, within this book, are the legends of Bodhidharma, the originator of Shaolin Kung Fu, Zhang Sanfeng and his inspirational guidnace by the great Xuanwu in creating Taijiquan, and many other stories generations of Martial Artists have been enthralled by told alongside deadly battles, each of various Kung Fu systems explained in fine detail, appealing to dedicated Martial Artists and action fans alike.