Forged in Honor

Leonard B. Scott, Author
Leonard B. Scott, Author Ballantine Books $21.95 (341p) ISBN 978-0-345-39009-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-345-39010-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1027-8
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Nearly nonstop action, engaging characters and vividly rendered locales distinguish this first-rate adventure tale by the author of The Iron Men. In the remote backcountry of Myanmar (formerly Burma), the fiercely independent Shan people, led by the Chindit (``lion''), preserve ancient customs far from the corruption of the ruling dictatorship. An extensive flashback shows the arrival, in 1960, of 11-year-old Kansan Joshua Hawkins in Burma, where he's gone to join his missionary family in Shan territory. Soon, Joshua meets young Stephen Kang, the Chindit's son; learning each other's ways and cultures, the boys form a binding friendship. Fast-forward to the present: Joshua, now a retired Special Forces colonel, and Stephen are thrown together once again-in a confrontation between sword-wielding Shan patriots and high-tech killers who traffic in heroin. Scott's storytelling skills and command of military and political history serve him well as his exciting and moving story, its action ranging from Burma to Seattle to Washington, D.C., sounds disturbingly realistic echoes of current events. (June)
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