In the sixth century B.C., the legendary philosopher Lao Tzu seeks redemption and an opportunity to spread his beliefs in the Zhou Royal Court. He is confronted by a vainglorious King and a mad Queen. But he also discovers a protégé in Prince Meng, the thoughtful but hesitant heir to the throne. However, Lao Tzu’s ideas of peace and natural order leave him ill-prepared for the intrigue of the Palace and the toxic rivalry between Meng and his twin brother, the bold and decisive Prince Chao. Chao undermines Meng at every turn as he tries to usurp Meng’s birthright by any means. Confucius arrives and allies with Chao, thus raising the stakes for control of the dynasty, culminating in a venomous clash between Taoism and Confucianism. With the King ailing and war imminent, Lao Tzu is betrayed. The Master Philosopher must cast aside his idealism to fight for his life.
Wayne Ng’s Finding The Way vividly reimagines the life and times of China’s most mysterious philosopher, Lao Tzu. On the utmost fringes of the empire somewhere between history and myth, Lao Tzu relates the story of his life. Finding The Way is a must for fans of Chinese history and philosophy, and for lovers of a tale well-told.
–Will Buckingham, author of The Descent of the Lyre
Wayne Ng’s impressive first novel manages to encapsulate the dynamism of the founding era of Chinese philosophical thought with a vivid reconstruction of the brutal, declining years of China’s ancient Zhou Dynasty, torn by vicious court politics, roaming armies, banditry and civil war. I n this action-packed yet thoughtful thriller, narrated by a fictional Lao Tzu, Ng’s deep sense of history and his profound understanding of ancient thought produces a riveting story. We witness the best of Taoist and Confucianist intentions and ideals. Yet they are doomed in the short term to fail when confronted by the raw reality of ambition and power. Nevertheless they remain the bedrock of Chinese civilization.
–Adam Williams, author of The Dragon’s Tail
Wayne Ng’s compelling prose takes us into China’s past to meet two of the world’s greatest thinkers, Lao Tzu and Confucius, bringing their philosophies to life in this suspenseful historical novel.
–Alette J. Willis, author of Dancing with Trees: Eco-tales from the British-Isles
The founder of Taoism, China’s only indigenous religion and a philosophical cornerstone of Chinese culture for over two thousand years, is reputed to have been Lao Tzu. The historical records are inexact, but it is said that he worked in the Royal Archives of the court of the Zhou dynasty and that he and Confucius crossed paths there. It is conceivable that they met during the reign of King Jing (544-520 B.C), who supposedly had two sons, Prince Meng and Prince Chao, one of whom, according to the stories handed down, killed the other. In the first century B.C., the historian Sima Qian referred to Lao Tzu as being disillusioned towards the end of his life. He told of how Lao Tzu mounted a water buffalo and set off to die, traveling at least as far as the Han Gu Pass, where he was stopped by a border guard named Yin Xi. This work of fiction picks up the legend from that moment.