To save his family, one boy will defy the power of two armies in 15th-century China.
Shen and his sister Chang are on the run. It's 1403, and the city of Nanjing is under siege. Their mother has been imprisoned, and their father, an Imperial Bodyguard, is presumed dead. Hoping to avoid detection for their connection to the former regime, Shen and Chang take refuge in a traveling acrobat troupe.
Meanwhile, the new emperor has commanded the construction of an armada to explore the world the -- treasure fleet. But a violent struggle breaks out between Zheng He, the powerful leader of the fleet, and the government officials who fear him.
Fleeing the growing conflict, the acrobats gain passage with the fleet. Shen soon discovers they'll be sharing their vessel with the notorious Yang Rong, a government official with the power to free their mother.
Shen and Chang enter a dangerous game of double-dealing. After months at sea they manage to defy the power of both armies, and they eventually save their parents. But they also discover that their own lives have been changed forever. The China they knew no longer exists. For Shen especially, it is too late to go home.
Set in a period of unparalleled Chinese exploration and rich with historical detail, Shen and the Treasure Fleet is an adventure of majestic proportions.