Plots, intrigue and love against the backdrop of imperial China.
This is a unique novel of old China, the traditional landscape of mountains and rivers without end, and life in an imperial city rife with plots, intrigues, culture, sensuality and wealth.
Li Wen, a landscape painter of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), is on a journey to deliver a message to the Chinese Emperor. His teacher has instructed him to paint four landscapes, one for each season, during the year it will take him to travel across China to the Emperor’s Court where he is to present the paintings to the Emperor as a long-life gift. A series of gripping adventures befall Li Wen on his journey, including burial in an ancient tomb and a snowstorm that nearly ends his quest.
“I loved A Message for the Emperor. The prose is sleek, restrained, flawless. There's research in there but you'd never know it. Frutkin seems to have inhaled ancient China and exhaled a parable of the artist. –Katherine Govier
“Frutkin employs scholarly details like fine brushstrokes. A Message for the Emperor reads as a kind of ancient Chinese fable and as a meditation on the power and passion of artists.” –Trevor Cole