The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen

4.2 5
by Lloyd Alexander, Steven Crossley
     
 

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When Prince Jen volunteers to search for the legendary court of T'ien-kuo, a mysterious old man chooses six gifts for him to bear in homage: a saddle, a sword, a paint box, a bowl, a kite, and a flute.

Puzzled by the humbleness of the gifts but full of high spirits and pride, Jen sets off — but stumbles almost immediately into a series of misfortunes.

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Overview

When Prince Jen volunteers to search for the legendary court of T'ien-kuo, a mysterious old man chooses six gifts for him to bear in homage: a saddle, a sword, a paint box, a bowl, a kite, and a flute.

Puzzled by the humbleness of the gifts but full of high spirits and pride, Jen sets off — but stumbles almost immediately into a series of misfortunes. Only with the help of his faithful servant Mafoo and valiant flute-girl Voyaging moon, and only after a breathtakingly exciting string of adventures, can Jen discover the real meaning of the gifts and face his true destiny.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Prince Jen hears of the happy, prosperous land of T'ien-kuo, he vows to seek out its ruler and learn from his example. And so he sets out, bearing six humble gifts for the emperor of T'ien-kuo. Readers versed in the logic of fairy tales will not be surprised when Jen's route veers from his original plan and the six gifts end up in hands other than those of T'ien-kuo's lord. Along the way, Jen falls in love, has a number of run-ins with an ambitious, bloodthirsty bandit and slowly descends from his exalted station until he is condemned to wear the cangue, a heavy wooden collar for criminals. In the novel's final scenes, the gifts and their new owners return to play an important part in Jen's struggle to save his life and kingdom. Although patchy character development slows the narrative in places, the elegant, almost archetypal plot offers considerable enjoyment. Prince Jen's travels are pleasantly reminiscent of the series of coming-of-age journeys found in the author's earlier Prydain Chronicles. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly
When the titular prince hears of another happy, prosperous land, he vows to seek out its ruler and learn from his example. PW wrote, "The prince's travels are pleasantly reminiscent of the coming-of-age journeys found in the author's Prydain Chronicles." Ages 10-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This story is in the tradition of grand quests. It is as intricate as the carvings on a piece of ivory. Prince Jen sets out to search for the legendary court of T'ien-Kuo to learn to govern his own kingdom. His 6 gifts soon disappear and he is left in rags discovering how quick people are to judge you by your garments. Gradually, he learns the value of the gifts he carried and in the process amazes himself with his own courage. The beautiful flute girl and his faithful servant are helpmates. A memorable cast of characters with plenty of action and humorous moments to satisfy the most demanding readers.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-- From deep in the cauldron of world story comes a rich fantasy about a young man's journey from innocence to experience. In China during the Tang Dynasty, young Prince Jen, heir to the Dragon Throne, sets off to find T'ien-kuo, or Heavenly Kingdom, the utopia described by a mysterious wandering scholar. Accompanied by a large retinue of soldiers and his practical, plain-spoken servant, the idealistic, sheltered prince bears six gifts for the ruler of T'ien-kuo. As his journey progresses, he loses everything: his retinue, his possessions, his identity, his illusions, his friends, until at last, in one of Alexander's most moving passages, he finds himself a common criminal, wandering the roads of his own kingdom, wearing the wooden collar of punishment. Although experience is a harsh teacher, Jen never loses his common humanity, nor his faith in the bondmaid he loves. Alexander borrows form and content from the popular novels of the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, particularly Shi Nai'an's Outlaws of the Marsh (China Bks., 1988), and is influenced, as are the Ming-Ch'ing novels, by the vernacular literature of the Sung Dynasty. Yet Jen's story transcends all boundaries, mixing Alexander's familiar cast--the impulsive, good-hearted boy; the clever, independent young woman; the assortment of eccentric, loyal companions--with flavors of European folklore; Hans Christian Andersen; admiring Chinoiserie, Buddhist and Taoist ideas; Arabian Nights extravagance. Alexander satisfies the taste for excitement, but his vivid characters and the food for thought he offers will nourish long after the last page is turned. --Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
From the Publisher
Enthralling . . . It is not often that a book can tell a breathtaking story, offer useful lessons on life, and paint a lively cultural backdrop. Alexander has done all that, and more. (Booklist, starred review)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780788726361
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
01/01/1991
Edition description:
Unabridged
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Enthralling . . . It is not often that a book can tell a breathtaking story, offer useful lessons on life, and paint a lively cultural backdrop. Alexander has done all that, and more. (Booklist, starred review)

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Remarkable Journey Of Prince Jen (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
SomethingFishy More than 1 year ago
This book is quite nice, and written very well. It is very fast-paced with something new and suprising in every chapter. It has just the right hint of romance and humor, which very much draws it together. I wished it had painted more of a scenery. I find it a bit predictable and the myth part of it was a slight bit 'cheesy', that is why it is not 5/5 stars. During the Jen's Journey he meets many wounderful (and horrible)different charachters each with a personality to remember. This book shows compassion in people, as will as hate, and brings that out very nicely. It is a typical book for fantasy or adventure lovers and a great, quick read for anyone. I thourougly enjoyed it and hope you can purchase it today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was the BEST book I have ever read during 4th grade! It is about ancient China and I thought that was cool!
Guest More than 1 year ago
ick. this was ok, but more towards the bad side. lloyd alexander is a good author, but this... wasnt exactly his best work. it was kinda slow. no. really slow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book has very good details about the journey, and what's going to happen. It makes you imagine what Prince Jen is going through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This bok is very well written. It does deserve a 5-star rating and even more. This book is highly recomened to all ages, and it is also a book in which you can not put out