Review

“A deftly crafted and thoroughly fun read … especially and unreservedly recommended for elementary school, middle school, and community library Fantasy Fiction collections.” —MBR Midwest Book Review

Baiku, The White Tiger of the West

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“Wait!” Dee held an arm out to prevent Yidi from descending the staircase. “What are we up against here, really? Is it a man or a beast? If it’s an actual tiger, is this wise? Will it be friendly?”

Mai gave him a stern look. “Grandfather said we must release the White Tiger. He wouldn’t send us into terrible danger. Surely the White Tiger wants to be freed.”

Dee hesitated and let his arm drop.

Lucy held up a finger and produced four globes, handing one to each of the other three and keeping one for herself.

“So not sure about this,” muttered Dee.

Cautiously, they made their way into the depths, carefully feeling for each step as they descended. Try-el pattered behind, his tail

bumping gently down the stairs.

As they reached the curve in the staircase, the light below intensified. At the bottom was a large well-lit space. The stone floor was

smooth and covered in thick carpets. There was a table and chair, and an area enclosed with screens that Lucy assumed might be a sleeping

space.

Then she saw him.

He sat bent over a desk facing them, one hand holding a writing brush, the other holding a large sheet of parchment steady as he

worked. He was powerfully built and huge—much bigger than any man Lucy had ever seen, bigger even than Sabu in human form. The

man had long silver hair was tied back, and he wore a simple leather vest unbuttoned over a white shirt stretched over broad shoulders, the

sleeves rolled up to the elbows exposing heavily muscled arms.

At the sound of their footsteps on the stone, he looked up. He had the most piercing blue eyes Lucy had ever seen.

Slowly he put his brush down, sprinkled some sand across the parchment, and shook it off. Only then did he speak. “And to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

The companions looked at each other, momentarily confused.

“We’ve come to rescue you,” Lucy finally said.

“Oh, I hardly think so,” the man said, pointing behind them.

An excerpt from The Caves of Wonder.


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