The general has three children, and most of their young lives have been spent in the family compound. They have been safe, and their lives have been very dull. Kuda, the youngest, is the family's little lion-hearted warrior. Rita, the middle child, is strong-willed and impetuous. Tendai, the eldest son, has lived both in his father's shadow and with the fear that he will never meet his father's high expectations. Tendai needs an explorer's badge to become an Eagle Scout, and he can get one by walking across the city -- an act their father would never permit. The children have never been out in the real world, unprotected and alone, before. But they decide they need an adventure, so they trick their way out, and the excitement begins!
The children face danger and adventure in the underbelly of the city. They are kidnapped, enslaved, and chased. But at every turn the children overcome obstacles and the evil plans of their tormentors with their wits and great courage, and a boy finds the hero in himself. I've rarely read such an empowering story.(less)