Saturday, January 30, 2016

Champion Standing by Mark Gardner

Champion Standing is Mark Gardner’s tour-de-force tale of a battle royale set in China’s Han Dynasty. Liao is a warrior of the Rong Clan from the kingdom of Kush who sets off for the island of Hainan to fight in the prestigious invitation-only Dao Tournament. Part cage match, part Hunger Games, the Dao had become an allegory for the epic struggle for status and honor. Liao will face off against several challengers before he finally has the opportunity to face off against the Champion Standing for his opportunity to attain the title and earn the rewards that title brings to his kinsmen.

The games are no small thing. Contenders have been known to cheat and even die rather than risk going home a loser. Complicating things, the powers-behind-the-games bet on their favorites putting everything –including their empires – on the line. Historically, the time period was also the height of the early Roman era, and Gardner has even included sinister visiting dignitaries from the seat of European civilization in his story.

The novella is exciting, informative and grandiose in all the best ways. And currently, Gardner is in the midst of a kickstarter project to fund the creation of an audiobook of the tale. Rewards include a hardcover copy of the epic tale. Hurry though. Today is the last day.

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