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The Library of Legends: A Novel

The Library of Legends: A Novel

Scris de Janie Chang

Povestit de Emily Woo Zeller


The Library of Legends: A Novel

Scris de Janie Chang

Povestit de Emily Woo Zeller

evaluări:
4/5 (39 evaluări)
Lungime:
11 hours
Lansat:
May 12, 2020
ISBN:
9780063016637
Format:
Carte audio

Descriere

"The Library of Legends is a gorgeous, poetic journey threaded with mist and magic about a group from a Chinese university who take to the road to escape the Japanese invasion of 1937—only to discover that danger stalks them from within. Janie Chang pens pure enchantment!" (Kate Quinn, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress)

From the author of Three Souls and Dragon Springs Road comes a captivating historical novel—the third in a loosely connected trilogy—in which a young woman travels across China with a convoy of student refugees, fleeing the hostilities of a brutal war with Japan.

"Myths are the darkest and brightest incarnations of who we are...."

China, 1937: When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, 19-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of more than 100 students, faculty, and staff must walk 1,000 miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by hunger, cold, and the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the student refugees who are at risk: Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.

Her family’s past has made Lian wary of forming attachments, but the students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends forms unexpected bonds. Lian finds friendship and a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is murdered and another arrested, Lian realizes she must escape from the convoy before a family secret puts her in danger. Accompanied by Shao and the enigmatic maidservant Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai, hoping to reunite with her mother.

On the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, "The Willow Star and the Prince". Learning Shao and Sparrow’s true identities compels Lian to confront her feelings for Shao. But there are broader consequences, too, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits to embark on an exodus of their own, one that changes the country’s fate forever.

Based on true events, rich in Chinese history and lore, The Library of Legends is both an illuminating exploration of China’s recent past and an evocative tale of love, sacrifice, and the extraordinary power of storytelling.

Lansat:
May 12, 2020
ISBN:
9780063016637
Format:
Carte audio


Despre autor

Born in Taiwan, JANIE CHANG has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, New Zealand and Canada. She writes historical fiction with a personal connection, drawing from family history and ancestral stories. Chang has a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Three Souls and Dragon Springs Road.  

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  • (4/5)
    This story is about a group of students (and their professors and university staff) who are forced to relocate the university to the interior of China as the Japanese invade. The focus is on one student primarily who's family carries a dangerous secret. As she flees, she notices that the guardian spirits of China are being called to leave China and return to heaven. In spite of this mystical aspect, this book is much more historical fiction than it is historically based fantasy. The focus is really on the main character and real events of 1937 as she travels though wartorn China with only a tangential "fantastic" subplot occurring in the midst of it. I will admit I found the book hard to get into at first but the last 2/3s of the it flew by. To further recommend this book, it inspired me to seek out other books by this author (I have already picked up two others) and started reading a history book that relates to this period as well.
  • (4/5)
    One of my very favorite Early Reviewers books! Part adventure story, part history, part mythology, this book is engaging from beginning to end! I don’t know much about Chinese history, which made this tale even more gripping. I found myself wanting to learn more after I had finished the book. A GREAT read, perfect for book clubs. In fact, my copy is headed to my mother and her book club shortly!
  • (3/5)
    Early reviewers book- thank you.First off I have to say, this is not the type of book I would normally buy/read.That said, I thought it was a nice little story, very well written, decent characters and overall I’d give it probably a 3 1/2 mainly because I found it a very slow read for me. As I said, this is not my kind of story to begin with.
  • (4/5)
    This story takes place in China in 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Universities in areas being bombed were evacuated, and students (called liuwang), professors, and staff all walked to safer interior areas. Hu Lian is a 19-year-old student at Minghua University in Nanking, and her school is also carrying the Library of Legends, a collection of Chinese folktales and mythology, to safer quarters. There's much adventure (good and bad) along the way, and, in danger, Lian eventually escapes (along with wealthy student Shao and his maidservant Sparrow) to find her mother, a refugee in Shanghai.

    There's an element of fantasy in the book, as one of the characters is actually a spirit from one of the legends in human form. The book drags a bit, especially in the middle, but these fantasy elements are just enough to maintain interest but not overwhelm. Author Janie Chang was inspired by her parents' experiences - her father was a liuwang from Nanking and her mother a war refugee in Shanghai.
  • (4/5)
    Universities relocating to safer locations and preserving libraries during WW II was an interesting bit of Chinese history of which I had not been aware. It was a wise effort, as well as courageous, to value knowledge and educating the young in preparation for rebuilding the country after the war. This book included many references to the old spiritual culture, the struggle to save traditional values and family relationships through separations and the perilous wartime journey.
  • (4/5)
    The story of the Library of Legends was a fascinating one. Students were forced to leave their university during the war and walk a thousand miles by foot. During the journey, each student was charged with keeping a book from the library of legends safe over the course of their travels. Characters were engaging and the story showed growth and emotional attachment with relationships growing over the course of the story. This highlighted the class system in China. I thought the story started slow but finished strong. I had not read a lot about Chinese history during this time period and it was a refreshing change. A good historical fiction read!Reader received a complimentary cod from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
  • (5/5)
    When the Japanese begin their invasion of China, university student Lian finds herself being evacuated with the Minghua University. Lian and her classmates have been tasked with transporting the Library of Legends, a collection of myths and folklore which has survived for over 500 years. As they travel with the books, spirits, guardians, and gods begin to awake.It is hard to describe all of the moving pieces of this book adequately. The characters were very well developed and multi-dimensional. I found the interaction between the mortal and immortal fascinating. I have already purchased Janie Change's other books and look forward to reading them. Overall 5 out of 5 stars.
  • (5/5)
    Review based on ARC (Advanced Readers' Copy received in exchange for an honest review).I was completely sucked in by the cover and title. Even though this is squarely in the historical fiction category, the description did nothing to dissuade me to seek this book out. Briefly, it's about a young adult student at University in China in 1937, during the Japanese-Chinese war. As bombs begin falling on her city, Nanking, she and the other students are forced to trek 1000 miles to safety, protecting their own lives as well as the priceless 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore called the Library of Legends.The book covers heartache and growth, love and danger, death and murder, friendship and the strength of family. There is magical realism and/or mythology worked throughout the very engaging and heartbreaking story told here.This is one of those "full" books. It is robust in its narrative and its setting, complex with emotions and characters, and thought-provoking of political and philosophical ideas, old and new. I loved meeting Hu Lian, Liu Shaoming, and especially Sparrow. And I found Professor Kang to be one of my favorite mentors. I was also impressed with Chang's "side" characters -- Shorty Ho, Mr. Lee, Meirong, Jenmei, and Dr. Mao, to name a few. I felt like I understood Lian's connections and distractions, confusion and conflict. Finally, I was enamored with the countryside of China and found myself very interested in visiting some day. Even though the story takes place during wartime and is filled with heartache and famine, there was a beauty and strength in the people and their beliefs that I would love to meet firsthand.I will definitely read more that Chang has written. I strongly recommend this book. 4.5 stars!
  • (4/5)
    An interesting mix of historical fiction and legends. University student Lian is forced to flee Nanking with her fellow students as the Japanese bombs start falling. In addition to saving themselves the students are also charged with saving The Library of Legends, a collection of Chinese myths and folklore. Their journey is long and arduous, also eventful as one student is killed and another arrested. Lian decides to escape he student group to locate her mother. She is accompanied by a fellow student Shao and his mysterious servant Sparrow. Characters and story are so interesting, and I learned a lot about a place and time i was not familiar with.
  • (4/5)
    With thanks to LibraryThing for the chance to preview The Library of Legends. I particularly enjoyed the story blending Chinese myth and spirits with the war Japan is fighting in China. The story was interesting and I liked the characters but it tended to be more Historical Romance than Historical Fiction.
  • (4/5)
    This is an engaging work of historical fiction, set during the Second Sino-Japanese War, with a touch of fantasy in the form of Chinese mythology. The characters are interesting and well drawn, and the story is suspenseful as the characters make their way walking across China to escape the war. Highly recommended for fans of historical or Chinese fiction.