Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Sword by Da Chen

The Sword by Da Chen was an enchanting Chinese fairy tale that tells the story of Miu Miu, the daughter of a famous sword maker who was murdered because the Emperor did not wish anyone else except himself to ever own such a beautiful sword as the one Miu Miu’s father made for him.

Miu Miu sets out to avenge the murder of her father in order to fulfill the destiny her mother mapped out for her. Her travels are both delightful and dangerous, and Da Chen beautifully writes with such fluidity the story seems to flow out onto the pages. I’ve read many fairy tales, and this ranks among the most well told I’ve ever read.

Even more intriguing than the fairy tale of Miu Miu and her betrothed Ting Tong, is the opening twelve pages that tell of an ex-convict named Ar Kin who returns to the village after serving a twenty year sentence in Siberia. I wish more had been written about Ar Kin. I found him fascinating and I was left wanting to know more.

My biggest criticism of this book is that the end wrapped up too quickly and too neatly. Da Chen could have easily written two different endings and up until the end of the book, I wasn’t quite sure which way it would go.

I found every part of this book to be tastefully written, and would not hesitate to recommend this book to any adult or child 11 years and up.


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