The Ghost of Ping-Ling, by Peter Cooper

Dillen has always wanted to know more about the world, snatching moments to study maps and read the scrolls in the temple library. But he has no expectation of being able to explore the places for himself, especially not so suddenly

‘Hallegat is on a mission of extreme importance to the Emperor. We think he may be in need of some help in the days ahead, and you may well be the perfect person to give it.’
‘Me, ganshe?’ said Dillen. ‘I’m just a temple orphan – how could I be of use to a mana-lord?’

Dillen has always wanted to know more about the world, snatching moments to study  maps and read the scrolls in the temple library. But he has no expectation of being able to explore the places for himself, especially not so suddenly. A late night visit from a mysterious easterner who says he has a task for Dillen sets off a chain of events which sees Dillen fleeing for his life from his temple home, and travelling across some of the most dangerous parts of the Empire trying to help a powerful mana-lord. Along the way he makes some new friends Рand some very powerful enemies. Is he following his destiny, or making a foolish Рand huge Рmistake?

The Ghost of Ping Ling is the first in a superb new fantasy trilogy Tales of he Blue Jade with an oriental flavour and plenty of action. Dillen and his new friends race against time and an array of enemies and dangers, repeatedly getting into situations from which escape seems impossible, and relying on their wit, their team work and a dash of luck to escape. Fantasy fans aged from 10 and into their teens will find plenty here to please, and will be keen to read the next installment, though this one is satisfying on its own as well.

Good stuff.

The Ghost of Ping Ling (Tales of the Blue Jade)

The Ghost of Ping Ling , by Peter Cooper
Omnibus, 2012
ISBN 9781862919181

This book is available in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.