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18 Cranes By Robert Campbell

Bing is fixing to enter one of the most stressful moments of his life. For his entire life, he has studied and prepared for this moment, to take the highly competitive examinations. The Civil Service Examinations are a mark of the elite. Those who pass will attain high honor. Those who do not will study again to either retake the exams or go into another form of work. The exams are tedious, meant to test you at every turn, and extremely hard to pass. He has had the best tutors, every opportunity to succeed, but now the rest remains with him. He will be tested on what he knows, and how well he can articulate those thoughts. In 1630s China, sons follow the family traditions and continue in the vein of their fathers. Bing’s father is a highly respected government official, and he has given Bing every opportunity to succeed and follow in his footsteps.

But as the exams progress, Bing begins to have strange dreams. In these dreams, 18 Cranes are the focal point. Searching his mind, he tries to reason what the dreams could mean, but he struggles to find a common thread. He seeks out his father’s advice and the wisdom of his grandfather. While they challenge him to think of what the dreams could mean, Bing knows that there is more to it than what they are suggesting.

As the time for the grades to be released, Bing spends more time in quiet contemplation, mulling over his dream. He wonders if it does not foretell something of his future. His grandfather, however, is not done telling him everything. As he begins to reveal a long-held family secret, Bing knows that there is more yet to be discovered and that his dreams are thoroughly entwined with his grandfather’s secret….

Final Thoughts

This book was a fantastic read! I read it twice as there was so much to take in! This book was captivating from the first page! If you are looking for a book that will make you think, encourage you to read between the lines and to just enjoy a fantastic story, then you must check out 18 Cranes by Robert Campbell. I felt drawn to Bing, and could empathize with him on the agony of preparing and taking the exams. The boo is written in such a way that you feel as though you are just as exhausted as he is. I could smell the flowers described, and wanted to meet Grandfather Ai! I cannot wait to find more books by this author, as now I must know the entire story of Bing, and unravel the full meaning of his dream. Travel back to China and embark on a tremendous journey with Bing!