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The Academician (Southern Swallow #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  7 reviews
"A bigger fool the world has never known than I - a coarse fellow with no business to clutch a brush and scribble. I only know the scrawl, because my master took pleasure in teaching me between my chores. Not many men are so cursed . . ." Thus begins the tale of Li K'ai-men, a tale of 12th Century China, where state service meant a life long journey.
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Published March 8th 2009 by Smashwords, Inc. (first published March 3rd 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 95)
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Todd Fonseca
12th Century China – Graduating with the highest honor at the academy, Li K’ai-men is charged by his great teacher and master Han Lin with carrying out a number of warrants both public and secret. Designated as the new superintendent of Su-chou, Li K’ai-men restores order and beauty to this chronically neglected area and proves he is more than an academic. However, Li is not perfect and his errors in judgment only serve to build his character; soon his talents are recognized by the Emperor and K ...more
J.A. Beard
Original review at:

The Academician (Southern Swallow, Book 1)
Author: Edward C. Patterson (
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Academician successfully transports the modern reader back in both mindset and experience to a exquisitely, but not overwhelmingly, rendered 12th-century China.


Theory and study are not the same as practice. In the 12th-century Song Dynasty, Scholar-bureaucrat Li K'ai-men and his servant K
Bryn Hammond
The turbulent 12th century. Bandit armies, barbarian armies. Misgovernment, corruption, starvation. I found this to be an often hard-hitting portrait of those times, full of moral complexity.

Our young main enters the civil service and moves up to the court. He has an arranged marriage and a cut-sleeve affair. Cut-sleeve is old Chinese for gay. These relationships were told of very much within their setting.

One thing that wasn’t within the setting I thought a shame: that’s a connection to the
Mark McGinty
Edward C. Patterson, one of the most prolific indie authors I’ve encountered, has published (by my rough count) somewhere between 15 and 17 books and has another 6 or 7 on the way. Some of these are on Kindle, some in paperback, some available through both. The point is, this guy can generate some words. And he’s been writing long enough to have developed a confident command of the language. His books are rich in detail, and filled with minutiae. Patterson seems not to labor over every detail, b ...more
Sharon Tillotson
Nov 01, 2013 Sharon Tillotson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature, history, China, moral
The Academician - by Edward C. Patterson

Ever since I read some of James Clavell’s Asian Saga stories in the 70’s, I have loved Asian epics. So when The Acedemician came into view, my interest was immediately piqued.

The book did not disappoint. Patterson has written a story of the rise of a young scholar in 12th century China, who by his top marks in examinations for office is appointed to a post far exceeding the low rank of a fisherman’s son. His mentor has taught him well the adage `form ove
I suppose one can label this work a gay historical at a stretch – but unlike many other such titles in the gay genre fiction ranks, this is not set in some Anglo-European country. Instead, the author takes us back almost a thousand years to the Sung Dynasty of 12th century ancient China where the Emperor is revered as a the son of heaven (i.e. a god incarnate) whose whims and fancies affect the lives and effect the demise of millions of subjects.

Given the academic credentials of the author Patte
L.  (I've Stopped Counting)
The first half was kind of slow, but the next half had a national crisis that spiced things up.
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Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further post graduate work at Columbia University. A native ...more
More about Edward C. Patterson...

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