Written as a diary, this story is told by a young Hsien girl, a princess of the Kingfisher Hill people who live in the Great Forest where the Chinese have established a colony.
The book was more than I expected. Her day to day story of life in a royal family of a small kingdom progresses as she travels back and forth to the home of a Chinese family. There she is taught to read by an elder who challenges her to think in philosophical terms as both the Chinese and her own people face a nearby tribe of brutal raiders. The Dog Heads, dubbed so because they behead and keep their victim's heads as trophies, eventually attack both the colony and her own community.
Based on the life of the title character, this easily read volume is a great insight into a bit of Eastern history. It carries a surprising amount of documented history with it while focusing on a very short portion of this girl's life. Her descriptions of the Kingfisher birds, her family and that of her Chinese foster family, along with her absolute need to come up with a plan to save them all really make this a great read.
This book is a fantastic addition to the Royal Diaries series. It gives a fascinating peek into the world of ancient China before the Chinese had actually settled all of it. This book would be a fun way to supplement a study of ancient Chinese history.