There are only three social classes on the mountain: artists, servants, and miners. If you don’t do your job, you won’t get meals. The only way the village survives is from food provided by zipline. There used to be a path that went down the side of the mountain, but that is impassable because of falling rocks no one can hear. To make things worse, the villagers are going blind as well, which can be dangerous in the mines.
Then one day, an artist girl named Fei suddenly develops the ability to hear. With the zipline providing less and less food, the village is desperate for a miracle. The artist girl and a miner boy take a trip down to the bottom of the mountain, but what they find will change life in their little village forever.
This book begins with a slight dystopian feel presented by its social class hierarchy. People are not allowed to marry out of their career choice, but this isn’t the main conflict of the story. As Fei and her friend climb down the mountain, there is a sense of adventure seen in fantasy novels with some romance mixed in.
The ending felt a little out of place, but on the whole, it was just felt like a different book, incorporating Chinese folklore as well as how everyone communicated using sign language. A very interesting read.