Starry River of the Sky, by Grace Lin

Starry River of the Sky

What It’s About

A runaway named Rendi gets stranded in a town with no moon. There he meets a mysterious storytelling guest, who unveils secrets about the ancient wrongs that left their marks on the town, and how the boy can help to erase them.

Why I Think You’d Like It

This is an excellent companion to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and I think anybody who likes one would like the other. After all, who can get enough of little kids going on quests in beautiful magical lands? Not me, that’s for sure!

Like Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, this book is full of stories within stories. The folklore adds color and depth to the world, but they also hold clues to the resolution of the protagonist’s question. Once you have read both you will also see ties between each other, but honestly you can read them in either order. This one was written second but takes place first, so I suppose it’s technically a prequel, but the main connection is simply that they take place in the same world.

As much as I liked Minli, I liked Rendi even more. He actually started out as quite the spoiled brat, but in the fun way where he starts growing as a person almost immediately, and each chapter gives him more depth and nuance. For such a short, simple book, there are beautiful layers, both to his character and the ideas and world that are built around him. He’s not the only one with an interesting character arc either, and those who don’t evolve have some other interesting secret to be unveiled.

The magical elements were absolutely captivating. This is a marvelous, enchanting world that I was thrilled to spend some time in. It’s a great story for kids who want to be transported, and adults who want to rekindle their childlike wonder.

Content Warnings

You’re good.

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