First of all, Xinran aims at the description of one's love story of devotion and self-sacrifice for one's ideals. In this regard, it is not only Shu Wen who sacrificed 30 years of her life to hind the fate of her husband, but it is also her husband, who sacrificed his life and their common future in order to save a Buddhist Lama (Seaman 1903). In this context, the author pays attention to human ability to sacrifice their lives for what is universally important for all human beings - love and compassion. While she praises their sacrifices, she describes the bloodshed between Mao army and Tibetan guerrillas, suggesting that although warriors from both sides were fighting for what certain ideas, in the end their sacrifices were for the war itself rather than personified human beings (Seaman 1903). Praising human self-sacrifice and devotion, Xinran unveils another crucial theme - commonality of human values - life, spiritualism and love. In this regard, the main heroine learns that, all people are human beings and irrespective of different ideologies and believes we all are the same - to live life and raise our children the way our ancestors taught us. Shu Wen learns this through the 30-years she spent with nomads, who value each moment mainly because they might not have another one.
Seaman Donna, "Sky Burial" Rev. of Sky Burial by Xinran Xue, Booklist, 101.21 (2005):