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Wonder, mysticism, heartache, and joy are the stones that set the path to one girl's journey as her destiny unfolds.
In the village of Huanan in medieval China, the deity that rules is the Great Huli Jing. Though 12-year-old Li Jing's name is a different character entirely from the Huli Jing, the sound is close enough to provide constant teasing - but maybe is also a source of greater destiny and power.
Jing's life isn't easy. Her father is a poor tea farmer, and her family has come to the conclusion that in order for everyone to survive, Jing must be sacrificed for the common good. She is sold as a bride to the Koh family, where she will be the wife and nursemaid to their three-year-old son, Ju'nan. It's not fair, and Jing feels this bitterly, especially when she is treated poorly by the Kohs and sold yet again into a worse situation that leads Jing to believe her only option is to run away and find home again. With the help of a spider who weaves Jing a means to escape and a nightingale who helps her find her way, Jing embarks on a quest back to Huanan - and to herself.
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- Allison Harper
Best book ever!
The narrator of this book did such an amazing job, and just made this book so amazing!
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A Magical Story of Independence and Spirit!
I read some great reviews for this book and I was not disappointed. By the end I couldn't stop listening to it!
- It's a beautiful tale set in Medieval China and is extremely well researched, even down to the smallest detail!
- The narrator Nancy Wu is fantastic.
- The writing is beautiful and the characters are palpable.
- A lot of modern writing has the female protagonist defy and remodel oppressive systems, which sounds great but actually is very unfeasible, especially in historical settings. Celeste Yim writes instead about defying ones's circumstances and being independent in the ways one can - far more realistic and nuanced than just rewriting Chinese history!
- For something listed as children's literature, it has one or two very dark, brutal turns to it. I'd recommend it for older kids/early teens.
- There are one or two loose ends that aren't resolved, but not a real problem at all. Maybe they'll be a sequel!
Overall an amazing historical magical adventure!