Select one of the keywords
Tiger: The Five Ancestors    by Jeff Stone order for
by Jeff Stone
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Tiger is the first in a new Five Ancestors series, which tells the stories of young Shaolin monks, the only survivors of the Cangzhen Temple massacre. Each youth has mastered a style of animal kung fu that best reflects his body type and personality - twelve-year-old Fu is the tiger (this first episode tells his story), Malao the monkey, Seh the snake, Hok the crane, and Long the wise dragon.

Their sixteen-year-old brother Ying, who mastered the eagle style, has betrayed them. Full of hate, he leads the Emperor's troops against the temple, seeking the dragon scrolls, which hold ancient secrets. As the killings begin, these five orphaned youths are ordered by their Grandmaster to hide in a water barrel (all of them in one barrel). Fu, like his namesake, is aggressive and short-tempered. As the largest and strongest of the five brothers, he's at the bottom and not happy about it. They later manage to disperse into the surrounding woods. Grandmaster exhorts them to avoid violence, and assigns them the task of changing Ying, saying 'Uncover the past, for it is your future.'

On his way out of the temple, Fu fights Ying's number one soldier, Tonglong, and wins the scrolls. In the forest, he comes upon hunters tormenting a cornered tiger and her cub. He attacks, injures a boy, and saves the cub, who follows him. But all was not as it seemed, and Fu learns a lesson about judging by appearances and about self control. There are captures and escapes. Fu finds potential new allies, including a Shaolin monk ('The Drunkard'), and is reunited with his brothers, who have had their own adventures and uncovered old secrets. The next story in the series will be that of Malao, Monkey.

Though both dialog and plot development are uneven, the Five Ancestors series premise will appeal to the male middle school crowd, who will enjoy following the exploits of the five youths, as they search for answers for themselves and the reader.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews