Evelyn's Reviews > I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson
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's review
Aug 20, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: action-adventure, fantasy, historical
Read from August 20 to 28, 2011

A book set on the Mongolian steppes during the reign of Kublai Khan = must read. Because no one writes about Mongolia.

Oyuna was a very, very conventional children's book protagonist: a spunky girl who likes horses and disguises herself as a boy and has a smart cat sidekick. Clearly, she was not what made this book good.

Rather, it was the setting. The gratuitous use of Mongolian words was occasionally grating, but the details of steppe life - that I could not get enough of. The obo of the mountains, Oyuna's astonishment at seeing a bridge, the festival at Karakorum...the unfamiliarity of the book's milieu more than made up for the boringness of the main character.

The writing was pretty good, the kind that is not noticeable. It did make the field of dead saiga and the detour to Genma's house seem almost nightmarishly otherworldly, though.

All in all, a rare find. It was not the gem that I had hoped for, but an interesting-looking rock is just fine too.

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