January 2011, Barrington Stoke
64 pages, Paperback
Interest age: 10-14,
Reading age: 8+
Genii's, magic seeds, dangerous quest, beating the enemy, family, love, using one's head, never giving up, a few fight scenes
Summary from Barrington Stoke
Kwang-su must embark on a perilous journey so that he can marry Ling-Ling. He must cross monster-infested rivers and outwit the powerful genii that live on the mountain-top. With a little help from some magic gifts, he manages to return home in time to save Ling-Ling from marrying an old mandarin. Action packed re-telling of an ancient Chinese myth.
Reasons for loving Kwang-Su: Even when he's not sure that something will work, he doesn't freeze up with fear and keeps on going. He is also a pretty talented fighter!
How evil/nasty is the enemy? Very evil, but there's a way to make the foe seem as cute as a baby animal (I'm not joking!)
Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? The odd one or two, yes. Especially regarding how he actually gets the pestle and mortar.
One of my favourite parts was...when he defeated the dragon. What happened next was hilarious.
I give it 9.5/10 (it could have done with more pictures which were just like manga ones! I could so see this in an anime)
Find out more about Malachy on his website.
Lord of the Mountain by James Lovegrove, first in a great series of warrior style books.
Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne, more monsters lurk in this Japanese myth inspired tale.