With the invasion of the Japanese into China in 1937, students at Minghua University leave their campus and escape on foot inland. Each student carries an original volume of the Library of Legends — a 500 year old collection of Chinese myths. Among them is Lian who learns from a letter that her mother is headed to Shanghai, but it is safer for her to stay with her professors and students. They walk mostly at night to avoid being spotted by enemy aircraft and while she walks, Shao and Sparrow befriend her. When they start out, it seems like a adventure, but soon they encounter starving refugees, Japanese bomber planes and death.
Will the students reach their inland destination alive? Will Lian’s mother make it safely to Shanghai? Can Lian keep her identity secret after finding out Mr. Lee knows who she really is? And is it possible for Shao to like her when he comes from a wealthy family?
I have reviewed Chang’s previous two books and her work keeps getting better and better.