Hite (Those Darn Dithers, 1996, etc.) demonstrates his versatility in this action-filled adventure of a boy's inward and outward journey. The heir to the kingdom of Padma, Yeshe, 14, is sent away to visit with the White Bean Lama, the only person said to be able to cure the young boy's failing vision. Yeshe's ""sight"" is an obvious metaphor, but Hite makes it work through simplicity, action, and suspense. While this fantasy takes place in different time and place, the boy's quandary is timeless: He feels confused, inadequate, and scared to fulfill his fate as a ruler. Along the road, he fights off thieves, bonds with his companions, gets involved in a romance, learns the ""cure"" to his curious eye disease, and poses some philosophical questions that should send young minds reeling. Hite's plain language, humor, and breezy pacing keep the journey rolling along, making it ideal even for readers who usually shun fantasies.