When Prince Jen volunteers to search for the legendary court of Taien-kuo, a mysterious old man chooses six gifts for him to bear in homage: a saddle, a sword, a paint box, a bowl, a kite, and a flute. Puzzled by the gifts but full of high spirits and pride, Jen sets offabut stumbles almost immediately into a series of misfortunes. Only with the help of his faithful servant, Mafoo, and valiant flute-girl, Voyaging Moon, and only after a breathtakingly exciting string of adventures can Jen discover the real meaning of the gifts and face his true destiny. . . .
Enthralling . . . It is not often that a book can tell a breathtaking story, offer useful lessons on life, and paint a lively cultural backdrop. Alexander has done all that, and more. (Booklist, starred review)