“Li Kao may have a slight flaw in his character but the book has none. I recommend it unconditionally and I predict Barry Hughart has quite a future as a fantasy writer.”—Anne McCaffrey
When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox sought a wiseman to save them. He found master Li Kao, a scholar with a slight flaw in his character. Together they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure.
The quest led them to a host of truly memorable characters, multiple wonders, incredible adventures—and strange coincidences which were really not coincidences at all. And it involved them in an ancient crime that still perturbed the serenity of Heaven. Simply and charmingly told, this is a wry tale, a sly tale, and a story of wisdom delightfully askew. Once read, its marvels and beauty will not easily fade from the mind.
The author claims that this is a novel of an ancient China that never was. But, oh . . . it should have been!
Barry Hughart is a widely acclaimed writer whose first novel, Bridge of Birds, won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. The other novels in The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox include The Story of the Stone and Eight Skilled Gentlemen.