Originally published 2015-01-07: Champion Standing by Mark Gardner | A Book Review
I recently posted an interview with fiction author and my friend, Mark Gardner, in which I talked at length with him about his latest book, Champion Standing. At that time, I had been holding on to my ARC of the book until I finished a few prior obligations and could really sink my teeth into what I knew would be a great story. I finally got my chance a few days ago to start reading it, and I was blown away.
This is the story of disgraced warrior, Liao, who is given the opportunity to restore his honor and the good standing of his clan by fighting in a warrior’s tournament. This tournament is no small feat; Liao is a first-timer put up against the best warriors in the empire while facing assassination attempts, sabotage, and general treachery. His story is an epic tale of redemption in the face of dishonor.
The characters, good and bad, are well-drawn. Mark draws you into each scene, effectively giving you a set of eyes on the prestigious island to watch as the events unfold. You will feel each trickle of sweat and jab of a warrior’s Dao. The ritual nature of the competition will pull you into the world he has created and leave you wanting to know more about the fate of the hero — and his enemies.
Anyone looking for a fast-paced tale of intriguing action, an underdog story that will leave you glued to the page, should look no further than Mark Gardner’s Champion Standing. I give this one five of five stars!
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