For the third time, Ullman has chosen as his theme man's search for something outside himself. In The White Tower it was more than the mountain itself which sustained the ascent; in River of the Sun there was something beyond the lost river which made men endure the jungle; and now, it is not only a man's search for his friends that carries him across China and into the untracked desert and the black sands of Karakorum. Again there is a valid human need, and Frank Knight, correspondent at large, is first in Shanghai, looking among the refugees from Sanchow for his missionary friends the Bickels, John, Eleanor, and their daughter Jean. He is told that John has become a Communist and has remained in Sanchow, where he fails to find them. And as he turns west toward the desert, he confronts disillusion and tragedy. He finds Eleanor and a native child, for Jean is dead. And finally, after an agonizing trail across the desert they find John and accept his determination to follow the star of a new found faith in the truth of an ancient legend. . . Absorbing reading, though the substance yields to the spirit of the search and its conclusion eludes where it should persuade.