For me, the most interesting aspect of the work is actually the background. I have not studied medieval Korean culture, and thus the cultural setting is exotic to me. I'm especially interested in the discussions of pottery as a craft, and its cultural role. The development of incised pottery is especially interesting, as is the method of transmission of innovations in pottery (although this is a novelist's view, not a historical one).
The narrative arc of the story, with the brave, good, clever young boy from the poor background who eventually wins over the embittered curmudgeon by his persistence and sheer saintliness of character strikes me as cliched at best. As is sometimes the case in young adult fiction, the characters seem almost stereotypes and the plotting predictable.