Dragon Bones: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

Lisa See
This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dragon Bones.
This section contains 457 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Dragon Bones: A Novel Summary & Study Guide Description

Dragon Bones: A Novel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Dragon Bones: A Novel by Lisa See.

Dragon Bones by Lisa See is a story of murder, artifact theft, Chinese history and love. Through a combined murder/theft investigation, David Stark and Liu Hulan rediscover their love for one another and discover that no one and nothing is as it seems.

When the body of a foreigner, Brian McCarthy, washes onto the shore of the Yangtze River, an investigation is ordered. Liu Hulan, a Red Princess, is assigned the case, but has issues dealing with things, as she has recently lost her only daughter to illness and blames herself. Simultaneously, her husband, David Stark, is assigned to a case of artifact theft at the same archaeological site from which Brian disappeared, that of Site 518. The couple, having marital problems, will have to work together to discover how the murder and the theft are related. When they reach the site, they meet a host of characters, including Catherine and Stuart Miller, a father/daughter team of wealth and power, Angela, the sister of the deceased archaeologist, Lily, a dishonest auction house worker who uses others to obtain precious artifacts, Dr. Ma, the leader of the site who appears to be hiding something, and Michael Quon, another wealthy man with a questionable purpose. Each of the members of the Site 518 team seem to be hiding something, and all seem to have motives of their own. When Lily is grotesquely killed and placed in her hotel room without a trace of evidence, Hulan and David realize their cases are linked, and are highly dangerous.

Over time, Hulan suspects a link between the two cases and a threatening religious cult she has been working with, the All Patriotic Society. Hulan and David soon learn that a missing relic, that of a ruyi, has been stolen and is believed to be the scepter of Yu the Great. When the lieutenant of the society shows up at an auction for the ruyi, David knows there is a link to Yu, the society, Hulan, and the murder, and knows he must save Hulan. Meanwhile, Hulan is becoming closer to Michael Quon. She soon realizes, however, that Michael is really Xiao Da, leader of the society. David arrives just in time to save his wife, but in the process, Michael escapes and the ruyi is lost. Through their journey, however, Hulan and David find they are able to forgive one another for the past, and Hulan is able to forgive herself for her daughter's death. Set against a backdrop of political corruption, Chinese culture and history, and the morality of the building of Three Gorges Dam, Dragon Bones is not only an intriguing mystery novel, but also a thought-provoking look at the pros and cons of China's greatest architectural achievement.

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This section contains 457 words
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