Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang

By Dori Jones Yang

Athletic and powerful willed, Princess Emmajin's decided to do what no girl has performed earlier than: turn into a warrior within the military of her grandfather, the nice Khan Khubilai. within the Mongol international the single technique to in achieving appreciate is to teach bravery and win glory at the battlefield. the very last thing she wishes is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who demanding situations her ideals within the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no abilities within the "manly arts" of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. nonetheless, he charms the Khan together with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a unique Marco as they trip throughout 13th-century China, looking 'dragons' and struggling with elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a distinct conflict as she struggles together with her appeal in the direction of Marco and her impressive aim of profitable popularity as a soldier.

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Sample text

My bravado in making that request now seemed laughable. In my head, behind that gushing nose, I blamed the foreigner. Sitting on a stool near the side wall of the courtyard, behind the protective bulk of my father’s body, I felt besieged, confused, pained, angry. Suddenly, my father moved slightly, and I could see standing just beyond him, not two feet away, that same bearded young foreigner staring at me. “My lady showed true nobility of spirit today,” he said in his odd, accented Mongolian. His arms were covered with hair, and his beard was so thick I could imagine food sticking in it.

Father led me to the side of the courtyard. My head was bowed, but I heard comments from people around me. “She lost on purpose,” one man said. “To make them look good,” another added. But I had not lost on purpose. My hand had slipped, for no good reason. I meant to win. I always competed to win. “How fine of her,” someone said. ” I was not used to hearing people talk about Suren that way. No one dared talk openly about who might lead in our generation. But now I realized that others, besides me, understood the deeper implications of the younger brother’s very public victory.

Normally, such an honor would be a thrill, an opportunity to present my case. Men would pay fortunes for the privilege of spending time with the Khan. But my black eyes and swollen cheeks took away all my dignity. Why on earth would the Khan want me to ride with him after I had failed miserably? Of course, I had no choice but to get ready quickly. ” It was on the high plateau of Mongolia, on the other side of the hills that separated Mongolia from Cathay, or northern China. Xanadu’s pleasant weather, sprawling formal gardens, and hunting woods provided the perfect playground for the Khan’s many grandchildren.

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