"“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 as told by his faithful, but mischievous servant, K’u Ko-ling — a tale of 12th Century China, where state service meant a life long journey across a landscape of turmoil and bliss. A tale of sacrifice, love, war and duty — a fragile balance between rituals and passions. An epic commitment between two men to define the indefinable in their own world and time. Here begins the legacy of the Jade Owl and its custodian as he holds true to his warrants.
The Academician is the first of four books in the Southern Swallow series, capturing the turbulence of the Sung Dynasty in transition. Spanning the silvery days under the Emperor Hui to the disasters that followed, The Academician is a slice of world events that should never have been forgotten. Still, there are things more important than invasions and empires. The world’s fate rests in the warrants of Li K’ai-men, this young scholar from Gui-lin, called master by his faithful servant, but known as Nan Ya to the world."
The Academician is a fictional account of a twelfth Century Chinese scholar-official, who readers of The Jade Owl Legacy first encounter in The Third Peregrination. Although this series serves as an historical adjunct to The Jade Owl, it has been in development longer than any work from the author's pen. The character of Li K’ai-men first came to light over three decades ago in Patterson's first China-themed work, Vagrant Hollow, a work which, unlike Li, will never come to light. Still, Mr. Patterson's great desire to novelize a seminal epoch in Chinese History, the founding of the Southern Sung Dynasty, sprang to life even earlier in his Masters’ thesis, "The Restoration of the Southern Sung Dynasty: The Reign of the Emperor Kao-tsung: 1127 – 1167." While entrenched in this period’s amazing details, Patterson visualized the tug and tussle of events that every Chinese school child knows, but few in the West can fathom.
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 postgraduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 2000 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring.
Published Novels by Edward C. Patterson include No Irish Need Apply, Bobby's Trace, Cutting the Cheese, Surviving an American Gulag, Turning Idolater, The Jade Owl (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book I), The Third Peregrination (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book II and Southern Swallow Series (Book I – The Academician)