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Fun and fast-moving, this work by first-time novelist Jordan feels very cinematic-perhaps unsurprising as the story began as a screenplay. The rollicking fantasy takes plenty of license with the life of Marco Polo, opening at the dawn of the 14th century with 16-year-old Marco in Venice, where he longs for an adventurous life like his father-only to get his wish when he learns his father has been abducted by the powerful Eastern sorcerer Arghun. With the help of his reluctant friend Amelio, the warrior Aziz and the mysterious guide Kokachin, Marco travels east through the Insurmountable Mountains to the Peking court of the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, battling everything from wily shopkeepers to Arghun's almost undefeatable magic and servants, to rescue his father. The prose is standard, though the story has an engaging mix of adventure, Asian mythology and historical detail-all filtered through the amazed eyes of a young man who is experiencing them for the first time. The pace is unrelenting, but action-loving readers won't mind. Ages 10-up. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.