Bridge of Birds (Master Li #1) - Barry Hughart8.14

A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was.

World Fantasy Award: Best Novel winner (1985).
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature: Best Novel winner (1986).


When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox sought a wiseman to save them. He found master Li Kao, a scholar with a slight flaw in his character. Together they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure.

The quest led them to a host of truly memorable characters, multiple wonders, incredible adventures – and strange coincidences which were really not coincidences at all. And it involved them in an ancient crime that still perturbed the serenity of Heaven. Simply and charmingly told, this is a wry tale, a sly tale, and a story of wisdom delightfully askew. Once read, its marvels and beauty will not easily fade from the mind.

The author claims that this is a novel of an ancient China that never was. But, oh... it should have been!

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Release date: 1984
Genres: fantasy
Tags: mythopoeic awards, world fantasy award
Average rating: 8.14/10
Total ratings: 7
Updated: January 09, 2015

Master Li :: Series

Bridge of Birds (Master Li #1)8.14
The Story of the Stone (Master Li #2)
Eight Skilled Gentlemen (Master Li #3)
The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox