Tuesday 31 January 2012

31. Tales of the Blue Jade Book 1: The Ghost of Ping Ling by Peter Cooper

Tales of the Blue Jade Book 1: The Ghost of Ping Ling by Peter Cooper
Published February 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:
A fire in a temple, an orphan running for his life. But is Dillen running away from, or towards, his destiny? A mysterious Easterner has sent Dillen on a simple quest: find the sorcerer Hallegat and serve him well. But for Dillen, things will never be simple again.
Sometimes the best reading experiences come from books about which you have no expectation.  This is one of those books.  It arrived on the shelf last week, and I knew nothing about it except that the author was from South Australia, and this was his first book. I took it home, and I couldn't put it down, and for someone who doesn't read fantasy, that is saying something!

From the very beginning I was drawn into the story of Dillen, a smart boy, stuck in an unfortunate life.  That is until  the Easterner visits the village and says he needs him for an important quest, after that nothing is the same. 

With the help of  two others he meets on the way, Tajni and Koto, the three make their way across the country in search of the elusive mana-lord Hallegat . The three travellers encounter the puk-do with snouts and swine like ears, the mountain dwelling Oni, ruthless brigands, wood-demons and the monstrous tengu. The action never stops. 

So why did this non fantasy reader enjoy this book so much?  It may sound like an obvious reason, but I think it's the story.  It's just a really good story that you can't stop reading because you want to find out what happens to these characters.  I have been to the author's blog The Cackling Scribe, and am pleased to know that I only have to wait until June for Book 2!

Who will like this book: Boys Age 10+Read it if you like: Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan

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