Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2

Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2 – second half

Here is the third episode of Bian’s Tale, and the remainder of Section 2 (Awakening).

It’s not a cliffhanger, but it does end with a twist as Bian starts to realize how much that has happened has not been what it appeared.

I’m way ahead, writing Section 5, where the dark underbelly of Saigon starts to show. Where friends seem not to be friends and progress may depend on others…

I still don’t know whether this is really for new readers or existing readers, and I’m not sure of the style. The amount of detail suggests this should be an epic. I started off trying to write something shorter than a Bite Back novel. Lol.

Blog post read volumes are interesting and strange. Bian’s Tale is gathering as many reads as I got during A Name Among The Stars, but almost no one (in comparison) is saying anything. Hint, hint. Are you enjoying it? Is it too slow? Do you like the glimpse of the different cultures? What have you liked/hated so far? Do you miss the precipitous cliffhangers? Ask me questions. Tell me what you feel.

Anyway… here is Episode 3, the second half of Section 2, Awakening.

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.


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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

12 responses to “Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2”

  1. amper5andrew says :

    Now, that was truly brutal.

    I’m invested in the character though I can’t quite relate to the feeling of outsiderness. But, finally figuring out what has happened to her sister had real impact. So, you think you don’t have cliffhangers. Hah!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Andrew.

      The feeling of being an outsider is something I’m trying to grow from this point. Please keep ‘measuring’ it and feeding back. I need to assess if I’m getting the emotion across.

  2. Justin Savely says :

    Your excellent foreshadowing gave this away, but your revelation was masterful. I,for one, enjoy the little tidbits and perspective of other cultures.

  3. Ladygeeke says :

    This is so different from the Athanate books, I kind of wish it wasn’t about Bian but about some other, new character – I’ve been a little distracted from the story because I’m subconsciously waiting for the “vampy bit”. But I’m really enjoying it as a historical novel in its own right.

    • Wendy says :

      It’s funny – I have the opposite happening – I’d gotten so involved while reading it, that I’d forgotten it was actually Bian. I felt like I was reading about an entirely new and different character. I’m completely stunned at the amount of research that had to go into this. I’m fascinated.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thank you Pat, I guess that’s ~approximately~ where I’m trying to get you as an existing reader. 🙂
      The paranormal really doesn’t appear until chapter 22 and even then, it’s elusive. It’s mainly concentrated in the 6th Section, where it arrives with a bang.

      Is this the best construction for an Urban Fantasy novel? No, not really!

      • Michael Orton says :

        But this isn’t an “urban fantasy” novel at the moment. Assuming you have put in the research I think you have then what we have now is an “historical” tale illustrating how life might have been in this era.

        Well it is urban if by that you mean city based, but I have always taken it to mean the setting is contemporary. We the readers know Bian is going to live a very long time, but while reading this I have found I forget the long term story arc.

        Almost any of the characters we have met so far could be Athante, Were or Adept. They would not want anyone in Bian’s circle of acquaintances to know what they are.

        Most of the people she meets are standard Human, Perhaps every single one of them we have met so far are, but I’m expecting you have worked at least one of each into the story already.

        We know the Athanate cannot have children of their own. Perhaps they like to adopt to make themselves look more normal.

        We know of three sub-species of Were: wolf, bear and jaguar. Could there be more? I see no reason why weretigers can’t exist. They just haven’t settled in the USA, perhaps because the jaguars have claimed the territory.

        We know there is no dragon spirit active in our own era, but there have been in the past and Adepts do die of old age eventually. Could those very competent dragon dancers be from a Dragon Adept community? Unlikely, but not impossible.

        But the more important question is am I enjoying the story?
        Well I’m still reading it so it can’t be that bad.
        Will I buy the book?
        Well so far there hasn’t been anything which makes me want to read it more than once. So, as things stand, probably not.
        But that’s only because we are still the era of Bian’s ignorance of the way this world really is.

        I’m expecting things to change.

        • Michael Orton says :

          PS: To my way of thinking there is an inactive dragon spirit in our own era. A young one that wants to be in a community,and do big things, probably with lots of fire, but right now is in hiding from the Empire and perhaps not entirely sure how to get out of her hiding place.

          Now that is a tale I’m looking forward to.

          Soon please!

        • Mark Henwick says :

          Weretigers : yes. There’s a reason that USA has (predominantly) werewolves and Africa has werelions and Asia has weretigers etc.

          You’ve seen Athanate through Bian’s unknowing eyes. To be revealed at the dramatic conclusion of section 5.

          Adepts do not have extended lives unless, like Emerson (the Truth Sensor we first meet at the last Assembly meeting) they make a deal with Athanate. Or they create workings on themselves. (Both options make them criminal in the eyes of the Adept communities).

          The dragon dancers are local Asian culture.

          I’ll stop giving spoilers now.

          • Michael Orton says :

            Good! I like weretigers far more than werewolves. I do hope these ones are not all “bad guys” despite their reputation so far.

            After all “vampires” have turned out to be good and evil like ordinary humans, just their power level makes them more extreme version of both.

            The werefolk of North America seem more interested in simple survival than in being good or bad as defined by the majority human culture. I suspect that is a global trait.

            I also hope the werefolk are only weakly tied to their home territories. The Jaguar folk may well have started in South America and walked North. I suspect the Bears are the native North Americans, while the Wolves came with the European settlers.

            So they can move, they just generally like to live in the native terrain of their animal form.

            I played a weretiger in a very long running RPG campaign. The party once encountered a flock of wereravens. They made very clear that they wanted to “nest” in the Tower of London, that they were not interested in anywhere else and they were not going to explain why.

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