The first book in ‘The Shanghai Tetralogy’ City Rising, From the Holy Mountain:
On the Hua Shan (the Holy Mountain) 250 years before Christ, the most powerful man in the world, the First Emperor bequeaths a talisman - a narwhal tusk with carvings depicting the growth of Shanghai for the next 2500 years - to his three trusted followers: the Bodyguard, his favourite Courtesan, and his Head Confucian. The warning from the First Emperor before he commits suicide is to watch for the White Ships on Water and so the progeny of the three who are entrusted with the Tusk do. Then, in 1841 they arrive - British Men of War ships. And opium.
City Rising, From the Holy Mountain tells the story of two destitute Baghdadi Jews who become opium lords, their battles against the powerful British opium companies, and the boys’ eventual love of the City at the Bend in the River - Shanghai.
“An epic [series] spanning thousands of years with larger-than-life characters and page-turning qualities.”– MacLeans
“Rotenberg’s take on the street life, bureaucracy, and sheer mass of Shanghai cleverly captures a wonderful, baffling city. “– Toronto Star
“Immersive, engrossing, and transporting.”– Dan Kalla, bestselling author of ‘Night Over Shanghai’
“A massive, fascinating, and powerful [series] that spans genres, maybe confounds them. [Rotenberg] possesses a prodigious memory for atmosphere and place.”– Jurgen Gothe