When villagers call Cassia and her brother, Foxfire, "the serpent's children," they mean it as an insult. But to Cassia it is an honor, for legend says that once a serpent sets her mind on something, she never gives up. And in a time when famine, drought, and violence mark her family's life, Cassia has nothing less than its survival to fight for. Father is a revolutionary, determined to free China from invaders. Foxfire, certain he'll find a mountain of gold, flees to a faraway land. Cassia will need all of her strength and wisdom to keep her family together, and to prove that she is truly the serpent's child. Ages 12 and up. 277 pages.