A lost city in the desert, wolf packs, a book, and, of course, a sword... The Book and the Sword was Louis Cha's first novel, published in 1955, and quickly established him as one of the new masters of the wuxia genre. The novel is panoramic in scope and includes the fantastical elements for which Cha is well-known: secret societies, kung fu masters, a lost desert city guarded by wolf packs, and the mysterious Fragrant Princess, an embellishment of an actual historical figure - although whether she actually smelled of flowers, we will never know. Further tothat Cha revives the legend about the great eighteenth-century Manchu Emperor Qian Long which claims that he was in fact not a Manchu but a Han Chinese as a result of a baby swap. The Book and the Sword is a rip-roaring tale of Chinese kung fu masters battling it out for the future of the Chinese empire and control of central Asia.