Fang fu Cheng is just six when he is recruited and raised as a Shaolin monk. As he matures into a respected teacher known as Ling, he meets Shu, a beautiful girl who captures his heart. Ling, who has been taught to fight as both a tiger and a dragon, is fiercely protective of her and ... is willing to do anything—including leaving the monkhood—to keep her in his life. Soon, they marry and immigrate to the United States where Ling becomes one of many indentured Chinese men working for the railroad during the 1800s.
As their family grows with a daughter, Jia, and an adopted son, Zack, so does Ling’s discontent with his job. When they return to San Francisco to find other work, Ling focuses on teaching Zack the skills of a Shaolin monk. After Zack enters manhood, marries his sister, and raises his own family, he eventually becomes a United States Marshall charged with keeping the peace in rough-and-tumble towns like Butte, Montana, and Nome, Alaska. While bringing his own unique form of justice to the last frontier, with help from his giant malamute, Zack soon realizes how quickly life can come full circle.
In this multigenerational tale, a Chinese family who immigrates to America during the 1800s must attempt to put down roots within an unsettled frontier where nothing is certain.
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