In the waning days of the last dynasty, in a quiet, beautiful corner of imperial Peking, a young girl’s blissful ignorance is shattered when she learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan. What future is there for such a girl? But a mysterious figure steps forward and offers to instruct her in the highest forms of martial arts--a path to a life of strength and independence. Half a world away in England, a young boy’s idyllic summer on the Sussex downs implodes with the firing of a single bullet. Torn from his family, he becomes the hostage of a urbanely sadistic uncle. He dreams of escaping to find his beloved friend--but the friend is in China, ten thousand miles away. The girl trains to be deadly. The boy flees across continents. They do not know it yet, but their lives are already inextricably bound together, and will collide one fateful night when they least expect it. THE HIDDEN BLADE is a full-length companion volume/prequel to MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY. They can each be read as standalones, but together they make for a uniquely rich and multilayered reading experience.