When her grandmother’s kidnapped, a shy girl living in ancient China embarks on a magical journey to find her.
Pinmei lives with her grandmother, Amah, a revered storyteller, and Yishan, a boy with a secret, on Never-Ending Mountain. When soldiers of the cruel Tiger Emperor abduct Amah and burn her hut, Pinmei hides in a huge vat. Learning the emperor wants a Luminous Stone, Pinmei and Yishan set out to find it to barter for Amah’s release. As their quest unfolds, Pinmei tells Amah’s stories, which alternate structurally with the main story. Elements and characters from these folk tales feature in Pinmei’s own quest as she encounters such evocatively named figures as Nuwa’s Tear, the Paper of Answers, the Starry River, the Ginseng Boy, the Red Stone, the Iron Rod, the Green Tiger, the Black Tortoise, and the Sea King. While many things are not what they seem, everything amazingly connects in the surprising finale, when Pinmei finds her voice. The meticulous craft delivers what Lin’s fans have come to expect. Final illustrations were unavailable for review.
This beautifully told companion to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (2009) and Starry River of the Sky (2012) offers lyrical storytelling, bringing “us to places we have never dreamed of.” (author’s note, book list) (Fantasy. 8-12)