The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
During the Northern Song dynasty in Taiyuan province of Medieval China lived a girl named Li Jing.
Spirit guardians protect the villages, such as the Great Golden Huli Jing, the five-tailed fox jing that saved hers years ago, and Jing shares a name with. Teased constantly, she’s reminded to be proud of her name because it’s a part of her. The village shamaness says her name ties her to their village jing, like a crystal ribbon, that it will protect and help Li Jing “find the home of her spirit.”
Since Li Jing’s mother died in childbirth, she watches over her younger brothers. Her aunt Mei and Grandmamma live with them, and her Baba. With hardly enough to feed themselves, they offer the tutelary spirits their best crops. And in order to survive, Jing’s family sells her to a family in Xiawan, where she becomes a tongyang-xi — wife, and nursemaid to a three-year-old. Jing’s life goes from hard to worse and she’s sold once again.
Facing unimaginable adversity, Jing’s only option is to run away, and she wants to go home. A magical spider, a nightingale, and a traveling stranger help her find a way. A richly depicted historical fantasy, emotionally charged, filled with magic and hope, and some of the loveliest metaphors. Readers will be inspired by Li Jing’s resilience and strength.
View all my reviews