The six-volume set of The Grave Robbers' Chronicles is much more than a horror-filled adventure story with likable characters and cliff-hanger plot twists. Author Xu Lei has created a world based upon facts and some of the more unbelievable details in these books are actually quite real. Corpses that have resisted decomposition for millennia have been discovered in China. The most famous of them is Lady Dai, discovered in Changsha and now kept in the Hunan Provincial Museum. This lady, whose body has remained largely intact in the 2000 years since her death, boasts skin that remains "moist and supple." Some of her joints are mobile be moved, her organs are intact, and she still has her eyelashes, as well as her left eardrum. The secret of her body's survival continues to be a mystery to modern science. The caves in Xu Lei's novels, with their tunnels that link mountain peaks and their deep lakes and waterfalls, may seem incredible but they exist. One particular cavern, the Er Wang Dong cave in Chongquing Provence, is so huge that it has its own weather system. Thick clouds and heavy fog emerge from the humidity formed in the floor of the cave as it hits the colder air above. It also contains deep pools and swift-running streams, and who knows? Perhaps within the very depths of the cave lies an undiscovered waterfall. The deadly giant salmon in Bronze Tree of Death has to be mythical, right? Wrong. In recent years, a grouper was caught in the South China Sea near the Nansha Islands that weighed in at 683 pounds. The monstrous fish was a Pacific Goliath Grouper, a species of fish that can weigh up to 1000 pounds, and almost makes Xu Lei's salmon sound like a sardine.
About the Author
A man of many names, Xu Lei or Nanpai Sanshu or Kennedy Xu is at heart only one person--a storyteller. Nourished by myths and legends told to him by his grandmother, when he was still in the sixth grade he wrote a 40,000-word story starring his classmates as the heroes. As an adult, he was certain he could never make a living doing what he loved but he was mistaken. A tale he wrote in his spare time and put on a blog in installments became insanely popular, a publisher put it into print, and Xu Lei's story swept across China, into Hong Kong, Taiwan, and beyond, selling over 600,000 copies in its first month of publication. Before he was thirty, Xu Lei had an income from royalties that reached $2.49 million and by 2011, he was named the second wealthiest writer in China. His suspenseful writing style and his quirky characters made readers hungry for his next book long before they had finished his latest offering. His books were turned into a comic book series in the U.S., Paramount bought the film rights, and in China, a movie based upon the series will go into production in 2015. Meanwhile a theatrical hit based upon the Grave Robbers' Chronicles has toured China for over a year. To help other online writers break into the Chinese publishing market, Xu Lei has founded a magazine called Super Nice that buys fiction of all genres, with only one requirement--that submissions be a good story. Given that his own fiction is published in Super Nice, he has set a high standard for the magazine. Still baby-faced at the age of 32, Xu Lei keeps a low profile in his private life. Considering that he's a writer who can come up with 10,000 to 20,00 words "on a good day," less productive authors might speculate that he has no private life at all. But as this best-selling author has observed. "True gold does not fear fire," and his quiet family life in Hangzhou needs no public viewing for Xu Lei to maintain his success. True writers don't need publicity.