Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Prince of Blue Flowers by Ryu Zhong @anno_ruini @GoddessFish

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.

Purchase Prince of Blue Flowers on Amazon, Google Play, and Barnes & Noble



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.

Interview with Ryu Zhong

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

With my intolerance to milk, I can only enjoy non-dairy ice cream. My favorite flavor is Chunky Monkey from Ben & Jerry’s.

Which mythological creature are you most like?

As my name suggests (Ryū in Japanese means ‘dragon’), I’m often compared to a dragon, though not the Western beast of wings, scales, claws, and fire. I’m that sort of sleeping drake that dwells in ponds and rarely surfaces to talk to strangers. If you have ever seen a stream of bubbles bursting from the bottom of a lake, you might have witnessed a drake’s midsleep hiccup.

The first book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

In the days of my childhood, I was presented with a rare copy of the ‘Journey to the West’ Chinese epic, an adaptation for a young reader. This was the first book I read by myself, as it was the first book that I couldn’t wait for my parents to read the next chapter another evening.

I have re-read this book numerous times in different languages, every time captivated by the flow the translators and adaptors managed to keep and to reflect in the words of yet another language. In the aspect of the language, ‘Prince of Blue Flowers’ is a tribute to this song of a book.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I wanted to pay tribute to ‘Journey to the West,’ yet not replicate either its plot or its characters. So, I went into research for what different tricksters of the world have in common, how (and why) the trickster tales are structured, and what makes their tricks possible, enjoyable, and—not least importantly—righteous.

That’s how my protagonist was born as a blend of several famous tricksters: the Western Till Eulenspiegel, African-American Brer Rabbit, and, of course, Asian Sun Wukong, The Monkey King himself.

The same happened to the plotting. Usually, I have a general idea of the plot, but this wasn’t the case with the ‘Prince of Blue Flowers.’ It started as an exercise in world-building and a language study, but soon enough, the characters took over control of the narrative, and I could only help them with my research.

Describe your writing space.

I write in my home office, where I created a separate deck for my ‘writing persona.’ By sitting at this deck, I offload everything else: all the mundane worries and all the daily job challenges. I have a huge magnetic whiteboard right in front of me, full of reminders of possible scenarios where my characters might want to wander. It’s my job to prepare those scenarios and their job to choose.

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.

Connect with Ryu Zhong

Book Series - Website

Ryu’s Personal Blog

Instagram ~ Twitter



$25 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Marcy Meyer said...

Great cover. Looks really good.

Kim said...

I hear Chunky Monkey is good.

Sherry said...

Looks like a good book.