Bon Agornin has led a successful life in many ways. He has improved his status, and his elder children are well on their way in life. But his three youngest need additional help. The two younger daughters need dowries if they are to marry well, and his youngest son needs in the city. And so Bon Agornin has decided that his wealth is to go to them, with the rest of his family merely taking a token, for remembrance and tradition. And by his wealth he means his treasure and his body, for in dragon society it is practice to eat the dead. But his son-in-law does not agree, believing that Bon Agornin meant only his gold. He and his family take much much more of the dead dragon’s body than one token bite.
In an Ancient China, that never was, Yu Lu (not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea) sets out on a quest to save the children of his village. Everyone between the ages of 8 and 13 has been struck down by a mysterious plague. He is sent to the Peking in order to bring back a wise man who can help them solve the mystery of this plague that can count. Soon Yu Lu (also known as Number Ten Ox due to his great strength) and the wise man Li Kao are racing across China in an attempt to locate the Root of Power that just may save the afflicted children.
It began on a train, heading north through England, although I was soon to discover that the story had really begun more than a hundred years earlier.
The Prestige is a book that covers three different generations of two families, told by a number of different narrators, all in the first person, as they tell their stories in their diaries. Those of you who have seen the film version will be aware that the prestige of the title is the payoff to a magic trick. What you might not know is that this term was invented by Priest but has since come into common usage among practising magicians.