The Story of the Stone is the second book in the Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox written by Barry Hughart.
After a monk is murdered for something that turns out to be a fake, Master Li and Number Ten Ox are contacted and asked to investigate. When they arrive in the valley of Sorrows, things soon turn out to be about something completely different. And a terrible question buries itself into their hearts: has the terrible tyrant called the Laughing Prince returned?
Once again, Hughart knows how to tell an interesting story with twists and turns set in an ancient China that never was. Master Li and Number Ten Ox return for another adventure and are this time joined by beautiful prostitute Grief of Dawn and sound master Moon Boy, who also happen to be in love. Their journey takes them from a low dive-bar to a monastery, and from a kingdom to Hell.
It would be impossible for me to recap all the things that happened without spoiling, so I’ll just say that this story will not end the way you think it will. And everything that happens from the beginning till the end, serves a purpose. The complexity of this novel makes it so very interesting.
I can’t wait to start on Eight Skilled Gentlemen, the last book of the Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox.