Customer Reviews for

Peril in the Palace

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Extra Research Needed

    Beth and Patrick are in thirteenth century China and are in pursuit of Kublai Khan. In the process they reveal some slight of hand Shamans are using to impress everyone, meet Marco Polo, and deliver a Chinese Bible to Kublai Khan's daughter.

    I had a couple beefs with this book. First, Marco Polo is depicted as writing "The Travels of Marco Polo" as a diary of his travels. This is not the case; Polo dictated his travelogue to Rustichello da Pisa while they were in prison together.

    Second, a mythical bird, the Roc, is depicted as real and plays a crucial part in the storyline. There is no mention of the fact that there is very scant evidence for the existence of this animal outside of Marco Polo's memoir and a mention in Arabian Nights, both of which have doubtful veracity.

    The Study of history and foreign cultures should be introduced to children at an early age, and sometimes oversimplifying people and events occurs to make this happen. However, there is a difference between oversimplifying and neglecting to tell the facts.

    I would not recommend that young readers read this by themselves. Some extra adult guidance will be helpful in properly understanding who the historical Kublai Khan and Marco Polo actually were and what they actually did, as well as distinguishing between real and fictional animals.

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