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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Todd Shuler’s Dew on Ginkgo Leaves: The Viper's Revenge is the page-turning sequel to The Tigress and the General. Following the Empire’s great victories, Jade Flower is now married to the powerful general Yu Luan. The Empire will be tested once again when Huimin, a chief official, is abducted, and Jade finds a note in a rice bowl: “They killed my husband and my son. I will have vengeance. In ninety days, the empire will fall.” Along with it is the symbol of a serpent in the bottom right-hand corner. They have no doubt that it came from Madam Viper, the secret leader of the Golden Ginkgo Society. She is still making her presence felt within the palace and still has loyal agents in her service. For all of China, the husband and wife team and the palace officials will get to the bottom of the threat that will pit loyalty against betrayal.
Todd Shuler’s skill at creating tension through taut pacing cannot be overlooked. His sensory details have the right balance to enhance character, setting, and situations. It greatly benefits you as the reader as the words on the page feel like they vividly flash the scenes in your head. As historical fiction, it gives a sense of honesty and believability. It is a fictional discourse that is real. The captivating charm of the described period does not make Shuler appear as a foreign voice writing about China. At the end of The Viper’s Revenge, the gracefulness of Shuler’s narrative will leave you with a lasting impression.