Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Story of the Stone 
Author - Barry Hughart
Series - The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox #2
Genre - Fantasy
Pages - 289

Description From Goodreads.

 In the valley of Sorrows, a monk is brutally murdered for a worthless manuscript, and the abbot of the humble monastery calls upon Master Li and Number Ten Ox to investigate the seemingly senseless killing. The most likely suspect is the infamous Laughing Prince, founder of the valley, whose murderous frenzies have made him a legend. But even Master Li must concede that the prince has a pretty good alibi: he's been dead for more than seven hundred years. 

 Undaunted, Master Li and Number Ten Ox begin their search for the Laughing Prince. Together they roam a mystical countryside populated by demons, ghosts, murderers, and mad kings to the very gates of heaven itself -- and what they find there is even stranger still.

I do not know what went wrong here. The first book in the trilogy Bridge of Birds was a masterpiece, The Story of the Stone just fell short. The adventures they have in this book just can not compare and the storyline is overly complicated, at least to me. 

There are some new characters, Grief of Dawn and Moon Boy for example and they added a nice touch. I liked Moon Boy far better than Grief of Dawn but still she was good and the ending was sad and beautiful at the same time.

 Master Li is still smart and witty, Tex Ox is still the same big ox-like man and the strength of the team. Nothing has really changed in this installment and I was left disappointed for the most part.


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