Battle of the Jade Horse is the sequel to The Year of the Tiger and, as such, it continues the story of two boys living during the Han Dynasty in Ancient China. It offers an accurate insight into that historical period whilst also tackling some of life’s biggest issues.
Hu and Ren are best friends but they come from vastly different walks of life. Ren is the son of one of the Emperor’s commanders and Hu is the son of a poor family of performers. The story begins in the boys’ village, Beicheng, but very quickly both boys become involved in the larger world of politics and the power plays dramatically affect their own lives and those of their families.
Hu, while wanting to cure his damaged leg, unwittingly becomes involved in the plans of the yellow bandits in their attempt to wrest control of their people from the hands of the Emperor. At the same time Ren, by virtue of his bravado, finds himself with his father collecting a herd of horses for the Emperor. The horses are stolen by bandits and, during the course of the robbery, Ren falls hostage to the thieves. Both boys face difficult decisions during their adventures, learning a great deal about themselves and the motivations and ideals of those around them. Throughout the events which ensue, it is the courage of the boys and their unswerving belief in each other and in humanity that allows them to set matters right.
Battle of the Jade Horse is a wonderful class novel choice for years 7 and 8. Tying in with the Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia – cross curricula priority, this novel is sure to engage your students as well as educate them. Teaching notes for battle of the Jade Horse can be downloaded, free – HERE.