Daughter of the Bamboo Forest was not what I expected it to be. When I read the description of it, I figured it would be closer tied to Chinese mythology. It was the dragon king bit that threw me off, I see that now. Thanks a lot, Amazon.
Instead of being a magical story, this book follows the tale of Little Jade. The story takes place during World War II, and details the various hardships faced in China during those years. Little Jade was raised by her grandmother because her mother got separated from them by the war, and her father was studying in Japan. Most of the book is Little Jade being passed from one person to another as somebody dies, or some other tragedy occurs. This isn't a happy book at all.
There is a happy ending, though.
I really liked this book, maybe because it wasn't what I expected it to be.