Article Title

The Crystal Ribbon


Jamie Greenwood


Excellent, Intermediate, Celeste Lim, China, Song Dynasty, Perseverance, Medieval Customs, Meaning Of Life, Abuse

Document Type

Book Review


Li Jing is a eleven-year-old girl growing up on a poor farm in rural China during the Song Dynasty. Her peers in the small town mock her for her name, because it is so similar to the five-tailed golden fox deity that protects their city: Huli Jing. Despite her father’s assurances that her name is powerful, Jing is embarrassed, but that doesn’t seem to matter as much when suddenly she is sold as a bride for five silver pieces. She marries into the Guo family, where she is the wife and nursemaid of a three-year-old boy named Ju’nan. When her sisters-in-law frame her for stealing, the Guo family sells Jing to a chinglou, where she is to be a consort, or entertainer of men. Jing knows that this is not the life she was meant to live and she escapes the chinglou and returns home to her family. Jing’s journey shows her what her true life’s calling is meant to be: a shamaness at the shrine of the Great Huli Jing.