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The Walking Boy

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Set in 8th-century Tang Dynasty China, The Walking Boy follows the life of Baoshi, a young disciple to an aging hermit monk, who has a secret only his master knows. When he is just sixteen, Baoshi is sent on a quest to Chang'an, the ancient Western Capital and the epicentre of the Tang Dynasty, ruled by the bitter and aging Female Emperor, Nü Huang. Baoshi soon finds ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published July 2006 by Key Porter Books (first published September 2005)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  54 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Lara Samulenok
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: canlit
Although this is the second novel in a trilogy, the book stands well on its own. I can see how there is room for a first and third book, however enough is eluded to and the style is smooth enough to make a story fulfilling on its own.
Hasan Namir
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very beautifully written novel with rich characters, written so eloquently and very moving ! Highly recommended.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really glad I recommended that my library purchase this book. I read Oracle Bone first and was suitably impressed. In addition to being a writer, Lydia Kwa is also a practicing psychologist and poet.

The Walking Boy is set in China's Tang Dynasty with the infamous female emperor Wu Zetian in power. There are some historical facts mixed into this fantastical tale such as her infamous cruelty and torture as well as the (double standard, in my view) arching condemnation of her taking on some
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I found out about halfway through that it was the second book in a trilogy, but that didn't matter much. It works well as a self-contained novel, except for the... well, I don't want to call it an open-ending. After all, there's no sense of incompletion that happens occasionally in trilogies. But I got the sense that there could easily be more to the story. I'll probably keep my eye out for books one and three, unless, of course, I forget.
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, asia
I couldn't get interested in this book. It just wouldn't capture me. I was also annoyed to find a casual mention of the fact that this is the second novel of a trilogy. Believe me, it reads like the second novel. That would've been more helpful on the cover, no?
May Wong
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like books that make me think.
Lydia Kwa shows us life through the "innocent" eyes of the Walking Boy.How do we judge people and how are we judged? What is the nature of love? How do we deal with evil and how can it affect us?
I would read other other books.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
This was kind of a surprise. Who would have thought that 8th century China would have cafes where Hindu men dressed and danced as women? And why not. Probably we have more in common with other eras than we'd care to admit. A thoughtful,interesting, very humanistic vision of another time and place.
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
the first chapter is kind of greulling, but its worth sticking around for the rest of the book. Along with a interesting storyline theres lots of spiritual,empathetical insight.

Sunshine Jeremiah
Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting story and has social identity complexity which I really liked.
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