Prince of Blue Flowers
by Ryu Zhong
GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure
Young boy Hatsukoi leaves his village to become a monk, only to find monastic life incredibly boring. With a new-found name and a new-found friend, Hatsukoi travels the countryside and plays tricks at the expense of corrupt, irate, greedy, and ignorant people. Nobles of all ranks—from petty governors to crown princes—fall victim to the boy’s wit and cunning.
As his tricks evolve from childhood frolics to elaborate cons, Hatsukoi grows as well. He learns not only the craft of his trade, but also its higher purpose.
Join Hatsukoi’s journey, laugh at his exploits, and learn with him.
In ancient times, on the shores of the Eternal Ocean lay the country of Auyasku. The waves of the three seas cherished her sleep.
The Silent Western Sea lulled her with whispers, and the Glacial Sea squeezed her tightly in its arms. Even the Sea of Great Storms was quiet off the coast of this cold land.
A white fur coat of snow hid Auyasku from the heat of the sun. On the hottest summer day, the bright beams of Celestial Luminary could not penetrate beneath the blankets and awaken Auyasku from her age-old slumber.
In the middle of the country rose a snowy mountain, and on its top was a wonderful rock. This rock was open to the beaming sun and moonlight, because tall trees did not grow on it; moss alone covered the stones, still barely warm from the sun.
And then, one day, the rock produced a stone egg. Later, a marten hatched from this egg, also made of stone, but endowed with limbs and all five senses.
The stone marten quickly learned to run about and hunt small game that hid in the snow. She also made friends with other animals that inhabited the endless fields of Auyasku: foxes, bears, wolves – even moles. And, of course, with other martens, her relatives. The mountain from which she came was called Marten Mountain because it served as a home to many martens.
One morning, when the sun appeared in the east and slowly rolled across the sky, the martens began to frolic around the rock, chasing one another. Having gambolled enough, they calmed down and, staring at the sun, began to talk – for, as the proverb goes, even animals can talk to each other.
Why do clever tricks (almost) always work?
Guest Post By Ryū Zhong
More than anything in the world, I love to write about the people of cunning, so-called ‘tricksters.’ Brer Rabbit as recorded by Joel Harris, Native American Coyote, French Reynaert the Fox, Anansi the Spider, Hermes, Loki, Till Uilenspiegel, Sun Wukong, Robin Hood, Nasreddin Hodja…the pages of this blog are not enough to list them all. What do they have in common, apart from the Wikipedia article?
A trickster, or performer of tricks, is a character who can’t sit still. He simultaneously fools people, fools around, and makes a fool of himself. He catches people in traps, but sooner or later, he gets trapped himself.
The story of a trickster always begins with his tricks. Brer Rabbit deceives Brer Fox about the fish he has caught, Coyote sends hunters on a false trail, and Sun Wukong steals fruits from stupid gods. The red-haired boy, the hero of my book, also turns out to be more cunning than those around him: his own father, a greedy governor, a bribe-taking guard, a visiting prince, a gluttonous duke.
Watching the adventures of tricksters, we feel smarter and more cunning than all the narrow-minded fools who come across them on the way. But at one point, our trickster finds himself in trouble.
An angry Brer Rabbit sticks to an oil effigy, Coyote is caught by his gluttony, and Sun Wukong is imprisoned in a rock for bragging. The cunning leaves our heroes when they succumb to their own vices.
This, in my opinion, is the truth of the trickster stories. Tricks and pranks work well, not because the trickster is smart and cunning. They only work against those who are driven by their vices: ignorance, anger, and greed. Scammers and con artists are well aware of this truth.
Having discovered this truth, we, along with the trickster, get a chance for a happy ending. Or a happy beginning?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
‘Ryū’ means ‘dragon’ in Japanese, and ‘Zhong’ can be translated from Chinese as ‘flute’. This amalgam of languages represents the fusion of cultures that characterises the writings of Ryū Zhong.
In their books, Ryū Zhong explore challenges that humanity might face as our technology gets more and more complicated to the level where it becomes magic. Such a shift would force people to look towards religion and reinterpret realities that today, we call fairy tales.
Ryū Zhong were lucky to be born and grow in Asia. Now they live in Amsterdam, study Dutch, and adapt their writings to English.
https://anno-ruini.com — website for the book series
https://ryu.anno-ruini.com — Ryu’s personal blog
https://www.instagram.com/anno.ruini/ — Instagram
https://twitter.com/anno_ruini — Twitter
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