I’m a sucker for these kinds of mass paperbacks, but this one let me down a little bit. To be fair The Scandal of it All is the second book in The Rogue Files by Sophie Jordan, but I didn’t realize that until I had already purchased it and cracked it open at home. However, based on the reviews I’ve read from others, it would seem that reading the other novel before The Scandal of it All would have only let me down more.
The Crystal Ribbon featured a strong, female lead who goes on a journey to find herself and return home. Some of the subject material may be too mature for a middle grade audience despite being rated to them. 4/5 stars.
This book is one where I fell prey to a beautiful spine and then the gorgeous cover immediately after plucking it from the shelves. I am glad I picked it up as it expanded several horizons I didn’t even know existed.
The Crystal Ribbon takes place in medieval China and follows the story of 11-year-old Jing. She has a difficult life, in her small village of Huanan, where she is picked on by the local children for the similarity her name shares with the towns deity, the Great Huli Jing. Because her family is incredibly poor, when a wealthy family offers to buy her to be the daughter-in-law/nursemaid to their young son, her family jumps at the opportunity. Jing is against this marriage, but her cruel aunt forces her to do it anyway and her father fails to stand against his sister. Jing is sent to live with the new family where she is treated even worse than before. Despite this, Jing promises to return home and the story follows her journey to finding herself and her way back to Huanan.