For Gold and Blood tells the story of two Chinese brothers, Soo and Ping Lee, who, like many Chinese immigrants, left their home in China to go to California in 1851. They hoped to strike it rich in the Gold Rush and send money back to their family. In the gold fields, they make a big strike but are cheated out of it. After 12 years of prospecting, they split up. Soo joins the Chinese workers who build the Central Pacific Railroad, while Ping opens a laundry in San Francisco. With little to show for his work, Soo also goes to San Francisco. Both men face prejudice and violence. In time they join rival factions in the community of Chinatown, Ping with one of the Chinese Six Families and Soo with a secret, illegal society called a tong. The story ends after the 1906 earthquake. This dramatic historical novel portrays the complicated lives of typical immigrants from China and many other countries.