Kirin Rise: Cast of Shadows, by Ed Cruz
Ed Cruz is a martial artist who was born in the Philippines and raised the U.S. He has a large online following, and had devoted himself to mastering the art of Wing Chin Gung Fu, the only art ever created by a woman. His first novel, the first in a series, is Kirin Rise: The Cast of Shadows.
Kirin Rise doesn’t look like much: she’s tiny, unassuming, and most of all, female. So when she appears in front of the cameras at Chum Night—the weekly blood bath publicized by the mighty United Federation of Mixed Fighting—the world is sure of her defeat, and her probable death. But with one hit, Kirin shatters all assumptions and catapults herself into a world she never imagined.
America in 2032 is a different place. Gone are family values and helping out your neighbors. In their places are selfishness and corporate greed—led by the Federation and its lust for total control. With the Federation usurping the place of every single competitive sport and dominating the government and the public eye, all eyes are on Kirin Rise, as she opposes the most feared fighters in the world.
But her opponents in the ring aren’t the only ones Kirin has to worry about. The Federation is more powerful than she imagined, and soon everyone she loves is in danger—her family, her friends, her Sifu, and Hunter, the guy she’s known for years. Can Kirin Rise win against the Federation fighters, or will she find defeat as she battles corporate corruption.
Kirin Rise: Cast of Shadows is set in a world very similar to our own, with a familiar culture and way of life. But this world is overshadowed by the Federation, which has spread its tentacles throughout every facet of existence, leading to a dark stain of corruption. The characters, particularly Kirin and Sifu, are larger than life, and not stereotypical martial artist figures of student and master. The characters have distinct personalities, wants, and goals, and they fully inhabit their world, a terrifying rendering of what our world could be like if things stay on the course they are on.
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