Cooney and Altieri, coauthors of two novels of historical China, The Court of the Lion (1989) and Deception (1993), attempt a sequel to the long-ago Lost Horizon. James Hilton's 1933 classic meant a great deal to a world struggling with worldwide depression and the rise of the Third Reich, because it portrayed a cultured, secret land without want, where everyone lived in harmony, no one grew old, and love might very well prove eternal. The reader was left with Hilton's Hugh Conway wandering the globe, trying to return to his paradise--a lovely metaphor, and one best untampered with, perhaps. In this follow-up, Conway did return and lived many happy and contemplative, if loveless, years. But as the 1960s arrive, Shangri-La is in peril: Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution is overtaking Tibet, purging it of all things holy. In command is General Zhang, a villainous but clever man who begins following a sort of map to Shangri-La that's been laid down in ancient temples to guide the worthy pilgrim. Conway must enter the outside world again to throw Zhang off the trail, which he does by providing false clues that lead to a place of sorcery and delusion. Conway may stay only ten days in the outside world without aging, but in that time he falls in love with a young girl, Zhang's daughter, Ma Li. Ma Li recalls the entire story from the vantage point of a saner time, 2007, before she embarks on her own, late-life quest for Shangri-La and her lost lover. A bit forced at times, and slow to meet Hilton's formidable challenge. But Zhang's unwitting evil quest rivals The Hobbit in its power and agony, and Conway's recollection of how he returned to Shangri-La is splendidly realized. As good as sequels get.