Read Time of the Dragons by Robert Shea Online


Shike is a novel about two characters: Jebu, a fighting monk of the Order of Zinja, and Taniko, the minor noblewoman with whom he falls in love on his first mission -- escorting her to an arranged marriage with a far older and extremely influential nobleman. ...

Title : Time of the Dragons
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780515048742
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 453 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Time of the Dragons Reviews

  • Theophilus (Theo)
    2019-06-13 15:46

    Excellent! If you like Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Steven Seagal, or any other martial artist, then you will love Jebu. Setting: medevel Japan. Jebu is a novice monk of the Order of Zinja ("the Zinja are devils") whose first mission is to escort a young maiden to her wedding to a minor Japanese bureaucrat. He and she fall in love along the way, but he fulfills his duty and delivers her to her husband-to-be, who turns out to be a cruel and evil schemer. Blah, blah, battle with samurai, blah, fleeing to China, meeting Kublai Khan, blah, war between China and the Mongol horde, yadda yadda yadda. Excitement from start to finish. And, you brush up on your haiku while reading it. Recommended for would-be warriors and those like me who just enjoy a good action novel. Starting on Book 2 now.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-06-16 16:32

    The beginning of the duology (the romance and the adventure). Good read.These are EXTREMELY LOOSELY based on the historical period Genpei War. It deals with the attempted invasion of Japan and the future birth of a Shogun.The story revolves around a member of a fictional secret society of warrior munks who resemble the ninja, the Shaolin and several other historical religious/military groups called the Zinja. His name is Jebu.The book is well written, well told and will probably appeal to those who like romance as well as those who like action.I suppose overall the duology would have to be called a tragedy.

  • Aub Wallace
    2019-05-30 19:50

    I picked this up at a thrift store for the beauty of the front cover but once I started reading it I fell in love with all the characters! This is an amazing epic! War, samurai, Zinja, lost (and found) love, adventure, history - it truly has it all!

  • Melissa
    2019-05-18 13:53

    What an amazing tale! Shea does a wonderful job recreating early Japan and China and telling the story of two very intriguing people.Jebu, a warrior monk of the Zinja sect, has recently been initiated into the temple. As his first task he is given the care of a young girl named Taniko who he escorts to her future husband. At first they somewhat despise each other but when they discover each other's true self, they fall in love. Sadly separated by her marriage to a cruel man, they meet years later to have a small time together that results in a child.The child is quickly killed by her husband and thus begets a series of events that separates them and causes trouble for Taniko during her life. She bears another son to a favored samurai and when he is taken from her as well her husband seeks great revenge. He sends her to China to be a slave of the mongols.Meanwhile Jebu has fought for a losing family in Japan. With the young son who is now a clan leader they go to China to make a name for themselves and gain more warriors to their cause. Over the years they eventually side with the Mongols and survive war after war. Sometimes only mere chance separates Jebu from Taniko.The characters in this novel were very realistic. While they did venture on the side of being too good, they have some flaws that make them believable characters. I especially liked the character of Taniko as she was shown as a strong woman, despite the time. She used her femininity as power.Shea's writing flows nicely and he includes some Japanese poetry as well which helps with imagery. It is written in the 3rd person and follows both Jebu and Taniko in their lives.A wonderful read! Now I just need to get my hands on the second installment.

  • Steve
    2019-05-20 18:28


  • Audrygazali
    2019-06-09 12:43

    The story is okay, I expect more than this. But, maybe it's just because the story just get started, it's book 1 of 4 afterall. Like it more than The Otori Clan, but not as good as Samurai.

  • Tafadzwa Shumba
    2019-06-01 14:37

    one pf the best books I ever read

  • Sharly
    2019-05-18 18:25

    Este libro me ha producido muchos sentimientos contradictorios. Por un lado, el libro está muy bien escrito y pulido, las historia engancha muchísimo, los personajes son interesantes y el contexto histórico está bastante bien descrito. Por otro lado, el libro es excesivamente largo, y la traducción no está, a veces, a la altura.Este es el primer libro de dos, leeré la segunda más adelante.Hay varias cosas que os pueden rallar un poco y es bueno que las tengáis en cuenta antes de poneros a leer:Empezamos con el título: "Shike: Samurais, dragones y Zinjas". No hay dragones en esta novela, son simplemente emblemas de casas japonesas. Parece una tontería, pero he pospuesto su lectura varios meses por este hecho.Zinja no es una mala traducción de Ninja (hasta leí partes de la novela en inglés) sino monjes-guerreros inspirados en varias sociedades secretas de diferentes países.El libro relata dos épocas no coetáneas de Japón y China, pero están condensadas y unidas. Se han cambiado algunos nombres de personajes y clanes históricos, aunque algunos de manera no muy acertada (e.g., Muratomo por Minamoto). Si has estudiado algo de historia Japonesa, raya un poquito...

  • Melvin Patterson
    2019-05-31 12:28

    Enjoyed immensely. although I read this series in the 1980s I hadn't returned to it before now and it was still enjoyable. Currently reading the second half now.

  • Scott Hopkins
    2019-06-06 20:36

    Nice novel about samurai and feudal Japan.

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    2019-06-16 18:31

    How good was this? So good, that in the midst of reading I went back and lowered the rating of the book I read before because the storytelling in this one was so superior. This is one of those page turners I practically inhaled, one of those books that you're yawning over not because it's boring, but Dear Lord is that dawn breaking and have you stayed up all night reading?So, why isn't this five stars? Well, because it's not quite for me a five star book. Robert Shea did write a book I consider one of my favorite works of historical fiction, All Things Are Lights and for me this book didn't match it in impact. For one, that other book was more moving--even causing me to cry at one point which is rare for me. For another, strangely enough, Shike was less impressive because I know more about Feudal Japan, the setting of the book, then I knew about the Albigensian Crusade when I read All Things Are Lights. I had no idea there had been a Christian crusade against Christians nor had ever heard about the Cathars or known that they had threatened the monolithic hold of the Roman Catholic Church over medieval Europe--so the subject was shocking, exciting and fresh. I was also very young when I read that book, and I have read a lot of works of history, and a lot of historical fiction since then. In other words--I'm pickier, and I don't have a nostalgic gauze over my eyes, and I have to admit this isn't comparable not only to the likes of Tolstoy, Hugo or Dickens it doesn't match the brilliance of works by Mary Renault, Robert Graves, Umberto Eco, Dorothy Dunnett, Patrick O'Brian, Hilary Mantel or Sharon Kay Penman. It doesn't have the style or complexity or depth. I had to grin seeing on LibraryThing that someone had used the tag "trashy."And it's a mish mash historically--and that did bug me. It conflates the events of the Gempei War (1180–1185) and the reign of Kublai Khan and the threatened Mongol invasions (1259-1281). It's like mixing the events of the English War of the Roses with the Spanish Armada. The hero of Shike is loosely based on a historical figure, a Japanese warrior monk named Saitō no Musashibō Benkei. In the book named Jebu, he's made out to be the son of a Mongolian father and Japanese mother, and the book takes us from Japan to China and the Mongolian empire and back. Similarly, Clavell's Shogun, a book it's hard not to compare this to, is based on a real historical figure--but that book hews closer to a unified course of historical events. So, yes, all that's true, but it's still also true I found this book near unputdownable. The book had no dull spots, had a good balance between love story, domestic matters and war, adventure and daring do. The scenes of fighting whether duels or battles were gripping and spooled before my eyes like an exciting action film. It made me want to read books on Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan and Heian Japan. Shea certainly made the Mongols sound fascinating and scary--like Star Trek's Borg--resistance is futile. Or seems so. This review covers the first book Time of the Dragon, but it's really just half of one novel, concluding with Last of the Zinja. Robert Shea's son has made available the complete Shike novel here under a Creative Commons license for all to read for free online.I should also mention I've seen this book tagged or shelved as fantasy. It's not. Not any more so than say Mary Renault in say Bull from the Sea. There are prophecies and visions that seem to be true and are taken seriously, but trust me, there are no dragons beyond those embroidered and painted on banners.

  • Max Fallon
    2019-05-31 13:25

    I can't recommend this story enough. I first read the Shike saga when I was in my mid teens, and it became my favourite story for years afterwards, greatly affecting my entire world view at the time. I'm writing this review purely from memory, having virtually committed every word and line to memory years ago. It is a sweeping, patient saga that spans a generation of men and women who lived during very turbulent times. Shea has based the story on different historical people and events, and mixed them together to become part of one great fictional saga.The story starts with the main character, Jebu, a young part-Mongol, part Japanese Zinja monk, being formally ordained into the order of Zinja as an initiate. From the first page, you will be hooked. This story has everything. Burning questions about Jebu's past that need to be answered, great rivalries between different samurai clans that span decades, beautiful women, foreign lands and alien customs, history and an infusion of Zen philosophy. Not to mention brilliantly depicted violence and war on a grand scale. There are some towering charcaters this tale, is Shea's fictionalised portrayal of the famous general Minamoto no Yoshitsune, called in this saga, Murotomo no Yukio. There is Moko, the cross-eyed carpenter who Jebu spares on his first official assignment, who becomes a lifelong friend. The wise old sage, Taitaro, Jebu's foster father. The beautiful wilful Shima Taniko. The haunted Murotomo no Hideyori, again a fictionalised version of the historical Minomoto no Yoritomo.This epic starts off during the lead up to the Gempei war in Japan, between the Murotomo and Takashi clans, then gives a glimpse into one of the greatest medieval empires the world has ever known, the Mongol Empire, during the time of Kublai Khan.This is a masculine book, that men will revel in, but there is also a strong female perspective portrayed through the eyes of Taniko. In fact, large chapters and portions of the story are devoted to Taniko's perspective of being a woman in a man's world, and her rise from country samurai, to the ruler of the Sunrise land. The overriding theme of this tale, is Zen-Buddhism, and you will find yourself seduced by this pragmatic way of looking at the world. I definitely credit this book with putting me on what I believe was the path towards ultimate truth. Even though I have moved beyond the whole Buddhist thing, this novel definitely got me thinking about the big questions. Any piece of fiction that can influence a person that much has got to be good. The story is now under a share licence or something like that and is free to read online. But you can pick up used copies for next to nothing online. Get your hands on a copy. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

  • David L.
    2019-06-07 20:46

    I enjoyed the book and actually reread it and the sequel several times. It is such an exotic realm, Japan so long ago. It took me away from my daily life. I am, however, ANNOYED, with the author and the publisher. HELLO, where is the concluding book, Book 3???? I suspect it could have been called Shike: Book 3, The Travels West. Oh, wait a sec, Wikipedia tells me, hmmm?, that there is a sort of sequel called All Things Are Lights and that Lights has a sequel called The Saracen. Naturally, if those exist in audio anywhere, I have not located them. (Reminds me of the last two of Gary Jennings Aztec books that I can't find in audio. Jennings should have gotten off that Aztec kick and done Inca, that would really have been something, so much more exotic than mere Aztec, or he could have done the sequel to Spangle which ends in a way that sets up the reader to expect a sequel.) There is something called the Illuminatus Trilogy but this sounds more fantasy and not quite historically accurate. (This trilogy reminds me a bit of a book, The Eight and its sequel.) Sadly, Shea is no longer with us, having died in 1994. So this is it, no more secret societies. That was the same year noted histfic writer, James Clavell, died. I would love to have hired him or Gary Jennings, died about six years after Clavell and Shea, to rewrite Taiko and also The Court of the Lion to be more in their style. These latter two books were, imho, a bit hard going. I suppose that was because their authors wanted books that had the literary feel of books that could have been written in Chinese/Mandarin or Japanese, not just English language attempts to try to tell stories set in China and Japan. I usually do notmind very long novels, but Taiko, had a very other feel to it. It was as though the English was being forced to try to be Japanese -- and Court had a ghost in it. Magical realism, despite attempts to the contrary, has not been my forte. It's too much like literature trying to class up it's use of urban fantasy. If it says it is fantasy, it is then "genre" fiction, horrors. Nothing doing!BestPS Speaking of fantasy, wonder when Eric van Lustbader will finish that Pearl Saga, and take a break from writing all that lucrative Bourne stuff since Robert Ludlum died. Maybe, he can take a page from Mr. Patterson's book, and get a co-author to write under both their names????

  • Raja Subramanian
    2019-05-22 14:30

    Awesome tale, well-narrated! I have always been a fan of Historical Fiction. Some chap told me that this term "Historical Fiction" is an oxymoron. What a moron!. Robert Shea brings this saga that spans Japan, China and Mongolia in all its grandeur. The story centers around Jebu, a warrior monk of the Zinja Order and Taniko, pretty Samurai lady. I think that the character of Jebu has been developed loosely based on the Japanese warrior monk Saitō no Musashibō Benkei. Robert Shea weaves the story of these two thrown together in turbulent times, I think based on the Gempei Wars of 1180 and 1185. Then the story moves to China where we watch Taniko face the indignity and oppression under Kublai Khan. Now this got me a a wee bit confused. I thought that Kublai Khan's reign was during the second half of the thirteenth century. And then I calmed down a bit and told myself, "well, what the heck if there is a teen-weeny confusion over historical dates and facts, when the story being told is mesmerizing!". Folks will tell you that this is a poor cousin of James Clavell's Shogun. I hate such comparisons even if they are inevitable. I read Shogun a long time ago, liked it immensely, and continues to be my favorite. Shike - Time of the Dragons is wonderful in its own right!Strongly recommended!You can find a free copy of this book and Book 2 The Last of the Zinja at It is a legal copy, not a bootlegged one. Go for it!

  • Claudia
    2019-05-29 13:52

    Interesante recreación de Japón en el siglo XIII. El argumento trata de un monje guerrero de la orden de los Zinja, Jebu, que escolta a una dama noble, Taniko, hasta su destino: casarse con un influyente señor de otra comerca. Aunque se enamoran, cada uno obedece sus órdenes, y a diferencia de "La dama y el león", Robert Shea describe una realidad medieval más cruda: Taniko escala posiciones, se casa con hombres cada vez más poderosos, y su camino se va cruzando con el de Jebu, pero jamás logran alcanzar la felicidad. Un verdadero viaje a la Edad Media japonesa, que combinada con la lectura de la "Novela de Genji" y otros textos de los siglos XI y XII, convierten Asia en un escenario original y muy atractivo para el lector acostumbrado a la Edad Media occidental. Es una lectura larga (ideal para unas vacaciones sin prisas) y muy recomendable.

  • Dylan M Peden
    2019-06-09 18:35

    UnsureThe book is amazing but I'm not sure if it is complete. I had already read the second book in hardcover and it seems to me that there are certain things, important things, that are unresolved. Five stars anyway but can anyone tell me if this version matches the printed version?

  • Rosalie
    2019-05-19 12:29

    I read this years ago and I remember that I really liked when I read it. I have read much more about Japan during this era since and think I should read it again. I think I read it twice then. I know there was a monk that was trained fight and a lot about Kublai Khan who was a war lord. That is really about all that I remember.

  • Gerrit
    2019-05-17 16:42

    Very nice read of the battles and scheming between the Taira and Minamoto clan in Japan. With the Mongol invasion luring at the shore.

  • Paul
    2019-05-17 19:29

    #49 1987Shike - Drakarnas tid (Svenska)

  • Grecia Ramirez
    2019-06-13 17:28

    What a great read! This book has it all: romance, action, humor, and very well-rounded characters.

  • Nadya
    2019-05-28 19:41

    Ceritanya bagus. Sayangnya, tidak orisinil. Hiiii...

  • Ken Bascom
    2019-06-02 18:55

    Not Shogun, but still pretty good...

  • Jinny Case
    2019-06-17 12:33

    Good book but out of print so far as I know. Good flipping luck trying to find it. If you do, I'd like a copy.

  • Ken
    2019-06-03 12:28

    One of my all time favorite books.

  • Tommyb
    2019-05-21 17:51


  • Lilanthi
    2019-06-11 18:41

    I read this book in my teens and fell in love with the much so that the name "Jebu" is etched in my memory.A wonderful read!

  • Michelle
    2019-05-28 12:30

    It was OK, but I wouldn't bother with the sequel.

  • Aaron Advani
    2019-06-08 12:33

    Still one of the best

  • Tennille Hui
    2019-06-10 19:51

    A top read. Picked it up on a Thurs, was finished with it by Saturday. The laundry was left undone...