Yang, Dori Jones, Daughter of Xanadu. Delacorte Press, 2011. Pgs. 336. Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: PG
Wild as the wind and the horses she rides, Princess Emajin Khan longs to step out of her role as a woman in her grandfather’s empire. When personally asked by her grandfather to spy on one of the foreigners, known as Marco Polo, visiting their land, Emmajin can’t wait to jump at the chance to please him and hopefully earn a place in her homeland’s army. As she begins spends time with him, she realizes that he has no experience in the “manly arts” such as archery, horse racing, or wrestling, she still can’t help but fall for his charm and wit. As they travel across China on a secret mission for the Khan, Emmajin sees a different side of him that’s adventurous and resourceful. Along the way, they encounter wild creatures, “dragons,” and fierce warrior and their attraction deepens. But, their love is forbidden. Which side of her will she follow: her heart or her duty to her grandfather and country?
The story is slow-moving at first, but picks up. The main characters are all well-developed as well as a few of the secondary characters. The adventure is suspenseful and does a good job of holding the reader’s interest. Readers who like adventure, historical fiction, and mixture of cultures will enjoy reading this book. EL (4-6), MS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.