Fu-Manchu - Daughter of Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer

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Fu-Manchu - Daughter of Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer

Buy Fu-Manchu - Daughter of Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime (Historical)
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: The fourth in the Fu Manchu series seems slightly toned down from the craziness of the first three but is still well worth reading. I can't wait to get my hands on the other nine!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN: 978-0857686060

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Warning: Spoilers for the first three books in this series below!

Fu Manchu is dead (or is he?) but his evil genius lives on, in the form of his daughter! New narrator Greville is sent to fetch Dr Petrie (narrator of the first three books) to come to an archaeological dig where Greville's chief Barton, an old friend of Petrie's, lies dead. (Or does he?) From there, the pair, along with Nayland Smith and Superintendent Weymouth, are plunged into a death-defying adventure.

This is an interesting book which lacks some of the madcap charm of the first three novels in the series simply because it seems to be rather toned down. (By page 50, I don't think we've actually had a confirmed death, which is positively sedate by Rohmer's normal standards!) In addition, just as in the last book Fu-Manchu - The Hand of Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer, there's a lot of action taking place off page and with less happening in the actual narrative this is more noticeable.

Having said that, there's definite strong points here as well! For a start, the outdated racist views have also been toned down - previous books seemed to give the impression that the entire continent of Asia was full of people who wanted world domination. This is more along the lines of there being some people who want world domination who just happen to come from Asia, which means it's the one of the four I've read so far which I'd be happiest in recommending to teens, say.

In addition, the change of narrator gives us the chance to see Petrie, Nayland Smith, and Karamaneh through fresh eyes, and there's a pleasant romance between Greville and Barton's niece. It's also cleverly plotted, and the fact that there is less action means that there's more of a chance for Rohmer to build tension, which he does well, with one scene in particularly making my heart feel like it was going to jump out of my mouth!

As ever, of course, from Titan's publication of this series we also get a simply breathtaking cover. In fact, I was browsing in a bookshop and picked this up just to look at the first few pages - two minutes later I found myself at the counter paying for it and book five, as the cover was just too beautiful to resist adding it to my collection.

Overall, I think this is a slight step down from the first three in the series but it's comfortably worth recommending and (especially given the intriguing ending) I'm glad that I've got book five ready to start!

In addition to the Fu Manchu reprints, Titan's other superb series of rereleases is The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, bringing back the stories of some of the authors who picked up the character after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I've read four or five and they're generally well worth reading, but the gem of the collection is undoubtedly The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man From Hell by Barrie Roberts, as Roberts comes as close as anyone I've seen to capturing the spirit of the Holmes canon perfectly.

Sax Rohmer's Dr Fu Manchu Series in Chronological Order

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This review was kindly given to us by the ever-generous Ya Yeah Yeah


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