Gary Mullens, apprentice bladesman to the Hernandez Family, is caught in the middle when a Chinese Tong tries to take over a rebuilt San Francisco. The Tong's plan has been long in play and has caught the endemic criminal organizations off their guard. The gang war escalates with thrust, counter thrust and parry, but things don't look so good for the natives even as they attempt to form a coalition to save themselves. And if things weren't tough enough for Gary, he must also prove he's up to the challenge of being a bladesman, a position responsible for protecting the honor and security of the family, and try to finish his training without the help of his instructor and mentor.Okay, how's that? In four paragraphs I don't think I can do a whole plot structure, just give the feeling, the setup, and the resolution. Sound like something you'd like to read? Sound like something you'd plot $8 down to read?
The opposition has also deployed its most potent weapon, a magician. Against an enforcer who can wield the elements, all seems lost. The last person to fight and win against a magician was Gary's instructor, who was assassinated two weeks before the story starts. The Chinese Tong also throws in several red herrings to keep the Hernandez family guessing at who is responsible and what their play really is.
Gary teams up with the new Hernandez head of security and together they set to unwrap the puzzle before them. Piece by piece they build the whole picture while also fending off attacks, making strategic strikes against the tong, and trying to figure out where the magician is hiding and how to defeat him. The daughter of the Hernandez boss is kidnapped, and it appears that the civilian government, normally neutral in the machinations of the criminal families, has chosen to back the Chinese Tong.
Gary recruits the resources necessary to continue his training and help the Hernandez family figure out where the magician is hiding. While he leads the assault on the magician's hideout, Gary struggles to maintain the Hernandez's honor and be victorious. In winning Gary learns what price his new job will ask of him and that honor isn't all it's cracked up to be.