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The Mark of Wu (Hidden Paths)

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  6 reviews
-China, 519 B.C.

State of Chu warrior Yuan stands front and center on his chariot, reins in hand, holding at bay a spirited tug from his team of eager steeds. He watches the battle unfold distantly before him, on the Huai River floodplain near Ch’ifu, anxious for a chance to unleash his rage on the invading barbarians. Yuan's eyes fix enviously on a fellow soldier, a halb
Paperback, 1st, 330 pages
Published February 2018
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Jamal Lewis
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gray’s debut novel is full and filled with all of the back-stabbing ruthlessness that we’ve come to know of ancient history. In high school, I was a Social Studies geek, and in the Social Studies Law and Government Magnet Program, so this title was right up my alley.

The story takes place around 519 B.C.E. with the kind of warfare and treachery that spawned modern day war films. The opening gives great insight to help readers reconnect to Ancient World History, including maps and normal—often des
Kevin Barnes
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What more could you ask for in a historical novel? The Mark of Wu: Hidden Paths has great battle scenes, imperial plots and intrigue, assassinations and even a bit of romance. You feel the story taking you in one direction and then it goes off in another. Just as in life, the turn of a page can surprise you. The Mark of Wu had me waiting to see “What’s next?”

Mr. Gray has brought the world of Ancient China to life. It was fun to read about the structure of Chinese life in 500BC from the military
Erik McManus
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
So this book was an adventure packed thrill ride. I normally am not the biggest fan of history but this book turned China history lessons into intense action war scenes that made you want to know more about how and why the different clans were fighting and how they became these badass armies. I will say that there are some parts that over explained instead of getting to the point but this book is still worth reading. The storyline and characters make up for the over descriptive parts.

Now the cha
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Mark of Wu, Hidden Paths, Book One, by Stephen M. Gray
By Mike McIlvain
Stephen M. Gray knows how to push a lot of buttons within a person with his inaugural historic fiction novel based on China’s ancient wars in the Mark of Wu, Hidden Paths. He certainly did with me.
Reading an advance review copy, I was off into a readerland I had not visited in some time. In my own reading world I am not always out to finish the book. I like to enjoy it more than finish it. Some authors like Paul Theroux o
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

Not having studied a great deal of Chinese history, I was interested in learning more from this, the first in a series about warring states in 519 B.C. While the book takes its time getting started (which dropped my rating to 3 1/2 stars) I ultimately found the story of Yuan, a Chu warrior, to be entertaining. The battles are well-told and exciting. While I did find the story took a while to develop, it did so well and I'd like to read more in this
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Military Writers Society of America (MWSA)
MWSA Review

If you enjoy a descriptive historical fiction read, filled with plenty of action and palace intrigue, then you won’t be disappointed in Stephen M. Gray’s The Mark of Wu—Book One: Hidden Paths!

Set during China’s Eastern Zhou (Chou) Dynasty’s Spring and Autumn Period (722-481 BC), the main character, Yuan, faces peril from all sides. His family has fallen out of favor with King Ping of Chu due to the internal scheming of powerful members of the court. Yuan is determined to regain th
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Stephen M. Gray is an attorney working in the energy sector. Book One, Hidden Paths of The Mark of Wu series set in ancient China is his first novel. Gray lives in San Antonio with his wife, Lisa.

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