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In this retelling of a Mongolian folktale, a simple shepherd must pass ...
In this retelling of a Mongolian folktale, a simple shepherd must pass three tests in order to marry the Khan's beautiful daughter.
As is usual in such stories, there are three impossible tasks to be accomplished before the hero, Möngke, may wed lovely Borte. He vanquishes seven gruesome demons, frightens off an enemy army, and, in a trial suggested by Borte, "conquers" Bagatur the Clever and Mighty (actually his bride-to-be disguised as a warrior) by surrendering the instant he is endangered. The high-spirited story is ideal—barring a few awkward phrases—for reading aloud. The Tsengs' vibrant watercolors bring the windswept Mongolian steppes and the proud luxury of the Khan's court vividly to the page. The jacket art is especially striking: A montage of acrylic on gold leaf shows Borte in a bejeweled headdress, Möngke astride his sturdy pony at full gallop, and the wind-whipped banners and embroidered felt tents of the Khan's realm.