Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385739230
- ISBN-13: 978-0385739238
While being historically accurate and highly entertaining, Daughter of Xanadu is also a thought-provoking novel. It questions the act of waging a war simply because of one man's aspiration to be the supreme world ruler. You will not fail to discover the brutalities and grittiness of war, which is portrayed vividly in this novel during the Battle of Vochan. However, I must say that I really admire Marco's wit in introducing a special tactic that proved to work against the Burmese King's troops. I love the part where Emmajin, Suren and Marco helped in capturing live dragons (crocodiles) to be taken back to Khanbalik.
In the front pages of the book, you will find a map of the Mongol Empire under Kubilai Khan from 1275 - 1276, with translations of ancient names of places to today's standard names. Also, there is a page on Emmajin's family tree. The author really deserves compliments for her meticulous research on the Mongolian lifestyle and culture. She describes the scenery of the wide stretches of land in Mongolia skillfully using beautiful words which makes me feel as if I were in that place. Included in the back is a glossary of some of the Mongolian and Latin terms which is used by the characters in the novel.
Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of Daughter of Xanadu for this review!
If you've read the book, feel free to take the quiz on Goodreads to test your understanding for the book!
Her first book, The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang, was a Skipping Stones Honor Book in 2001, and was also awarded the Pleasant T. Rowland Prize for Fiction for Girls. Her most recent book is Daughter of Xanadu, set in 13th century Mongolia, under the Khubilai Khan.Dori lives near Seattle with her husband Paul Yang; they have three grown-up children.
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