After being ridiculed by other boys in his Mongolian village, Dashan, nearly fourteen years old, is anxiously considering his chances for entering warrior training. Just at that moment, a messenger racing through the settlement makes Dashan resolve that he will be not only a warrior but also an arrow-messenger. The great conqueror, Jenghiz Khan, always held at ready a select number of his warriors to ride like an arrow between the farthest provinces of his empire. It was death to block their way or refuse them a change of horses. Jenghiz Khan is now gone, but his “Yasak” laws are still in force. Though small, Dashan is the best rider of the boys, but now he must prove it. First, there is the matter of the test of manhood for the warrior training—how can Dashan prove his manhood when his uncle keeps him at home herding the young animals instead of sending him out on the steppes with the main herd like the other boys? Then, Dashan must train his horse—and himself—for the hazardous cross-country boys’ race at the summer festival, a grueling test of strength and courage and judgment. The colorful portrayal of life in the nomad camps and on the wild Mongolian steppes creates an unusual and convincing background for this historical tale of adventure.
Original Book: 192 pages