This sweeping epic novel will be hard to put down. A Sudden Dawn is engaging to the very end, even if you don't know anything about Buddhism, martial arts, Zen or life in the early century of A.D. 500. Sardili, born of the warrior caste, would rather seek enlightenment rather than follow his family's military legacy and sets out on a lifelong quest for truth and wisdom. This exceptional tale is about the adventures of Sardili who becomes the Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma. In China he is known as Da Mo. He and his companion Brother Ko journey from India to China in pursuit of good over evil and finding The Way. Their perseverance brings Zen and martial arts to the Shaolin Temple in China. The author, Goran Powell, has done an excellent research job and has developed characters so vivid they flow out of the book. En route, the pair encounters solders and the foot chase through the market place is more realistic than any movie car scene. A generous river captain offers to take them further along the Yangtze and the author paints a vivid picture of the boat snaking through the twelve mountains to Wu Gorge. It's more than a physical journey as Powell beautifully describes Da Mo's love affair with silk farm lady, Madame Wang, and Brother Ko's love for Liang, the maid at the Emperor's palace. It's a gripping story from beginning to end as the legend of Da Mo comes to life and ends really with a beginning.