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.