On the morning of Miu Miu's fifteenth birthday, her mother makes a startling revelation: Miu Miu's fate is to travel to the faraway city of Chang'an, avenge her father's death, and find her true love. But the evil emperor has other plans for her. Defeating him will take all of Miu Miu's courage, wit, and martial arts experience.
Master storyteller Da Chen paints a vivid portrait of his native land in this classic tale of honor, adventure, and romance in ancient China.
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Da Chen is the author of Colors of the Mountain, a New York Times bestseller; Sounds of the River: A Young Man's University Days in Beijing; Brother; and two books for children, Wandering Warrior and China's Son: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution. He grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution and now lives in New York.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6 Up—In a short introduction, Chen describes an ex-convict who was both an outcast and a sage in the village in China where he grew up. It was from this man that the author first heard the story he tells here. That prologue is immediate and vivid, placing readers in the world where Chen was a child. Unfortunately, the style changes in the novel, and the story of Miu Miu, who must avenge her father's death at the hands of the emperor, is never as personal or vibrant as those initial pages. The 15-year-old martial artist leaves home, disguised as a boy, with the intent of killing the emperor. On the way she meets Tong Ting, another martial artist to whom she was promised in marriage as a baby, and they work together to face the emperor. When they are unable to overcome him, the destiny written for them is death, but Miu Miu believes that her father would want her to live. There is likely to be a cultural disconnect for American readers, as the novel features the traditions of warriors drinking each other's blood as a pledge and widows hanging themselves as honorable deaths. If the character development were deep and genuine, these cultural gaps would fill easily, but the people in this story never become more than folktale figures. For its folkloric quality, the novel is certainly worth reading, but students looking for tales of kung fu and magic might be better off with Lawrence Yep's "Tiger's Apprentice" series (HarperCollins).—Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110061447587