It is China, during the reign of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang (who ruled from 221–210 BC). Cao Pi is nine years old; his father Cao Shi is a crossbowman in the Imperial Army, but he has disappeared without trace, and their whole village is in mourning. Then Cao Pi’s friend Mei Ling finds the head of a little clay figure – and it bears an uncanny resemblance to Cao Pi’s father. Could he have fallen victim to an evil curse? The friends set out in search of the creator of the clay figure in the hope of finding Cao Shi. Their journey is full of adventures, and it eventually leads them to the First Sovereign Emperor himself – and to the discovery of a well-guarded secret: Qin Shi Huang is having a huge army of life-size terracotta figures built for his mausoleum.
The legendary Terracotta Army is at the very core of this story. Hidden away for over 2,000 years, Qin Shi Huang’s legacy has been celebrated as the eighth wonder of the world since it was discovered in 1974.