From the author of Three Souls and Dragon Springs Road comes a captivating historical novel - the third in a loosely connected trilogy - in which a young woman travels across China with a convoy of student refugees, fleeing the hostilities of a brutal war with Japan.
"Myths are the darkest and brightest incarnations of who we are...."
China, 1937: When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, 19-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of more than 100 students, faculty, and staff must walk 1,000 miles to the safety of China's western provinces, a journey marred by hunger, cold, and the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the student refugees who are at risk: Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.
Her family's past has made Lian wary of forming attachments, but the students' common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends forms unexpected bonds. Lian finds friendship and a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is murdered and another arrested, Lian realizes she must escape from the convoy before a family secret puts her in danger. Accompanied by Shao and the enigmatic maidservant Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai, hoping to reunite with her mother.
On the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and