Dragon Bones (Red Princess, #3)
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Dragon Bones (Red Princess #3)

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,909 ratings  ·  250 reviews
When the body of an American archaeologist is found floating in the Yangtze River, Ministry of Public Security agent Liu Hulan, and American attorney David Stark, are sent to investigate. As Hulan scrutinizes Security agent Liu Hulan, and American attorney David Stark, are sent to investigate. As Hulan scrutinizes this death, David tries to discover who has stolen an artif...more
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Published June 1st 2005 by ISIS Audio Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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Tara Lynn
I've always loved early Chinese culture, and adore many of the more popular "current" novels. (The Good Earth Trilogy, Amy Tan's books,) but I've just discovered Lisa See, and I have to say that her books are phenomenal. I
ve been doing a lot of in depth study on the practice of footbinding, and it's development as a perception of beauty in Chinese tradition. You can actually find current photos of footbound women, since the practice continued despite government protest, in the mountainous region...more
L
May 21, 2008 L rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: gio
Shelves: mystery
The back cover promsies "an extraordinarily rich novel" in which "myth mixes treacherously with truth." And, indeed, this is what See delivers. As a reader, you really feel the setting. See avoids easy political shots, taking a more nuanced (and interesting) approach than some might. The murder & mayhem got nasty, but the details are presented as they must be to move the story along, without sliding into the pornography of violence that is common in many thrillers/mysteries; this was a welco...more
Annalie
I enjoyed this third Red Princess book even more than the first two in the series. I'll certainly miss the gutsy, stubborn Liu Hulan and her lovely husband David! Unique and very interesting trilogy; more novels than murder mysteries and I learned much about China, its culture and history.
Katrina
Archaeological mystery that I could not put down. Race to save the ancient Chinese artifacts before flooding the Chinese landscape. One more time, Lisa See's research is thorough and accurate. I became even more fascinated when I looked up the dig site on line.
Rich
I have been fascinated by the orient since 1967, when I met a college classmate from Hong Kong. I met his father in HK in 1975, and my (Navy) visit to HK that year reaffirmed my fascination and interest in all things Chinese. But life had taken me in different directions since then.

So I picked up this book by Lisa See, not from any recommendation but from that long ago interest. This book was very enjoyable to read. Lisa See captures the sense and scenes of life in China through intrigue, murde...more
Jess
This book was really more like 3.5 stars. After reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, I was not expecting a detective/mystery story. That is what Dragon Bones is--a mystery book with Chinese history, politics, and legends woven in. At times, it was a bit boring, but at other times, it flew right through interesting sections without going into enough detail. Although some of the book was predictable, I think the rest was written well enough where you weren't 100% sure which way things would go....more
Stephanie
Read it for a book group.

It is third in a series -- maybe I should have read the first 2? What did I miss? I'll never know as I won't read the first 2.

I like the characterization, and I loved reading about the Gorges and the dam and all the Chinese stuff I know nothing about. Issues are with plotting and pacing and ending. Too many weird things that require willing suspension of disbelief (think tunnels and caves and people showing up in the nick of time)

I'd like to know more about the dam and...more
Kimberly
This book is a mystery, a contemporary analysis of China, and a love story all in one. Sadly, sometimes the whole is less than the sum of its parts and that is the case with this book. It is almost painful to watch how the author attempts to tie these elements into one story. I wanted it to work, because I like intelligent mysteries, but it couldn't provide intellectual engagement OR mindless escapism.
Trista
This book is written by an author I really admire. It is the third book in a series that involves Liu Hulan. It is set in China and Liu is sent to investigate the deaths of some people at an archaeological dig site. I really had to think while reading this book as many things that the author describes were not familiar to me.
Luanne
This is the third in a set of mysteries that Lisa See wrote. Every book I have read of hers has been excellent. This follows Liu Hulan in China as an Inspector solving a murder case. This also follows Hulan's personal life with her marriage to an American attorney. I learn so much about China from See's books.
Sharon Apple
Thrilling!! Gives more Insight into the world's largest dam, as well as enticingly scratches the surface of: the origin of Chinese language; Chinese thought on domestic control and global political dominance; and, among other things, archeological treasures.
Jacqueline


I am amazed by the versatility of Lisa See. It seems like all she has to do is touch pen to paper and she begins to unravel a magnificent story.
(Obviously she spends a lot of time doing research to be able to write with such clarity and understanding of her characters and the places they inhabit.)
It doesn't matter if she is writing the story of her own family in On Gold Mountain, or the three books, that make up The Red Princess Trilogy, Flower Net, The Interior and Dragon Bones, or the histori...more
Stemsofred
I didn't realize this was an ongoing saga of Liu Hulan; I read this one out of order. I may have enjoyed it more if I started with the first book.
Helaine
When I started the book with Hulan's daughter dead and the estrangement between David and Hulan, I thought this would be the novel that creates a reason for Hulan to be single and never emotionally involved with a man in subsequent books in the series, a la James Bond. I sighed and thought, do I really want to read on? But I am happy that I did, as Lisa See expertly and seamlessly weaves the personal story of David and Hulan into an engaging mystery with a lot of Chinese history and geography dr...more
Melinda Seyler
Again, the deep interesting China parts juxtaposed against the trying love story of the main characters. I guess I just don't like the format. Love stories: okay. Mysteries; okay. Histories; okay. Altogether: not so good. The mystery part is only okay- kind of like watching a tv show where "now it's time to introduce the drama" so something totally unbelievable happens. The historic part is okay but a bit OTT with the conclusions drawn. I found the landscape of China parts the most interesting.
Graham Crawford
If I want to enjoy reading a Lisa See Book, I have to resign myself to knowing that there will be at least 20 pages of the worst kind of drivel mixed in with the interesting stuff. She is an appallingly bad writer with interesting things to say. Her emotional expositions, romances and boggling stupid crime writing make me want to laugh out loud, and laughter is the only sane response when reading her sex scenes. The phrase "She made him hard and he got her wet" lingers uncomfortably in my memory...more
Ruth
C2003: According to the Mail on Sunday this book is “exciting and informative”. I agree 100% with the informative part but not so much on the exciting bit. I was going along quite happily until about two thirds of the way through and then, either my reading mood changed, or the plot development did not sit well, because I then started to flounder somewhat. Perhaps, having started on Book 3 of a series (never a good thing) I failed to see the import of some of the developments regarding the backg...more
Carrol
I have come to really enjoy Lisa See's books. This is the second one I have read. (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan being the other one.) Both book are set in China - Snow Flower in the 19th century and Dragon Bones in the early part of the 21st century. Dragon Bones is a "Red Princess" mystery. This mystery is set along the Yangzi River and also explores a number of the issues relating to the controversial Three Gorges Dam construction as well as some of the current political and social issues of...more
Kathleen Hagen
Dragonbones, by Lisa See, A-minus. Narrated by Liza Ross, produced by Isis, downloaded from audible.

This is actually a mystery, including murders that combines greed from various sources. It involves archeologists at a dig, some of whom are willing to sell artifacts; unscrupulous art dealers, who also want the artifacts to sell; the Chinese government, which wants these artifacts preserved and kept in China, and a religious cult fostered by a man who exploits the people of china to create a reli...more
Bethany
After reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy, it wasn't hard to pick up Lisa See's Dragon Bones at the library, and be willing to give it a try.

Having not previously read the first two books in the series (not knowing it was a series!), was not an insurmountable challenge, as See writes an immediately gripping thriller of smuggling, politics, and cultural clashes set in 21st century China, shortly after the repatriation of Hong Kong. See does such a wonderful job of w...more
Courtney
This story was an interesting departure from usual Chinese fiction. First of all it is set in modern China, whereas most fiction set in China is historical fiction. Also most fiction I've read set in China is about provincial farmers or landlords, they certainly never had to worry about cults or international smuggling rings! So yes, this book was pretty awesome in the aspect that it described the China that I could hop on a plane and go see right now (if I wanted to). Then came the mystery, I'm...more
Jayme Swallow
Dragon Bones is Lisa See's third book of the Red Princess series. I haven't read the first two, but I still understood it pretty well. It's a murder-mystery love story between Inspector Liu Hulan and Attorney David Stark, who happen to be married, but estranged as they separately mourn the death of their young daughter. Together they are assigned to cases near the 3 Gorges Dam along the Yangtze River in China. Liu is to investigate a suspicious death and David is to find out how Chinese artifact...more
Dot
I very much enjoyed this mystery set in China. I always enjoy books more if there is something to learn in them and this one definitely met my needs in that regard. The main characters are a married couple: liu Hulan who is a "Red Princess" and a police inspector in Beijing who was educated as a lawyer in the US. Her husband is an American lawyer who lives and practices in Beijing. The crime they are asked to solve involves the death of an American student who is working as an intern at an arche...more
Sandy
A murder mystery set in contemporary China, in which the cultural and political currents of modern-day China are as much a “character” of the story as the Chinese inspector and her American lawyer husband. Although this book stands alone as its own story, I suspect I might have felt more connection to the main characters if I had read the previous two books in the series. The pacing lagged mid-way through the book (although it picked up quite a bit in the last 50 pages), and I found it challengi...more
Bev
This book was recommended (among others) as a good book to read before going on the Viking Cruise to China. It seems to have been a perfect recommendation. The book is set in 2003, in the days before the massive Three Gorges dam on the Yangzi River is completed. Detective Liu Hulan and her husband David are sent to investigate a murder which has taken place on a site where they are excavating antiquities prior to the flooding of the area, and theft of some of those antiquities. Not only is it a...more
Frank
Listened to the end of the library wma book, so it couldn't have been that bad, but it was disappointing. The strength of this series is depiction of work and personal politics of life in contemporary China, references to the cultural revolution, combined with some detailed social scenes and driven by the whodunnit plot and introspection of the characters. This was the third in the series I'd read or listened to, and I liked it less. The description of the 3 Gorges Dam read like the summary from...more
Becky C.
I have read all of the books in this series and have enjoyed every one. I love the strong sense of place and all the interesting info about life in China. This one focuses on the Three Gorges Dam project and the archaeological work hurriedly being done before sites are lost forever after the dam is complete. Fascinating stuff about shady dealings involving cultural artifacts, giant fungi and complex cave systems. I was a little surprised by the timeline between this book and the one before--seem...more
Chana
I liked this book quite a bit. It was a bit slow in the beginning and somewhat weak in the end with too much talking, but quite interesting in most ways. I really liked reading about the building of the dam on the Yangzi River and what the river and Three Gorges were like before the dam. I also really enjoyed the biological and historical aspects, and it has a nice love story in it and fascinating cultural information. The mystery itself was interesting, but somewhat gruesome.
A married couple,...more
Anjanette
The entire series is good. In he last hundred pages of this, the action begins to barrel along at a breakneck speed, but then it seems to throw on the brakes and return to the slower pace of the rest of the book. I think I enjoyed this one most of the three because of the folklore elements.
Ragna
A mystery, current time China; I liked it though for me I must say it doesn't even come close to a more historical See story like the secret fan..
The story playing in an area I visited gave it extra credits for me.
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Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Her books include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Dragon Bones, and On Gold Mountain. She was named the 2001 National Woman of the Year, by the Organization of Chinese American Women. She lives in Los Angeles.

More about Lisa See...
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1) Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2) Peony in Love On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

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