I read this one via e book and I think I enjoyed it 🤔
I may read the rest, but this one didn‘t amaze me (should it have done? 🤔😅)
Read for reading challenges.
I was so drawn into this world. A traveling historical monk gets a chance to unravel some secrets of the past. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer! An engaging tale that slowly reveals a world - it does a lot with the space it's given. The story stayed engaging for me too, there were some twists I didn't expect that made it a very satisfying bite-sized read.
And with that I am FINALLY caught up in reviews. I think. Yay reading!
This was emotionally impactful, and constantly moving forward. Despite taking breaks between tales for side conversations, every moment capitalized on the displayed emotions and cultivated a compelling reading experience. I recommend this to readers who enjoy Asian inspired tales dedicated to the need for women's voices to be heard and recognized.
What The Dead Know
Silent thoughts. No words at all.
Because who can catch them? As you fall?
Plunge to darkness.. a swift leave of despair…
Share your story? Who will care?
Predator‘s access … how they prowl…
They‘ll always strike again… Even if not now.
Women weeping … under water…
Listen.. you‘ll hear a wife, mother, or daughter.
Salty tears… turn to lake‘s water…
Last remains… following slaughter.
This little novel has beautiful writing, but I struggled following it. I recommend NOT reading this on audiobook, the narrator didn‘t differentiate characters well so it was difficult to follow. A well crafted Chinese fairy tale in a pretty little book. 4⭐️
#NoShameReadathon2023 - lesser know fairy tale or non-European fantasy
Cleric Chih interviews an elderly woman, Rabbit about her first hand experience as a servant to The Empress of Salt and Fortune, In-Yo.
It's an incredible story that communicates so much, in so few pages. I loved it.
Rabbit, an elderly woman, former handmaid to the recently deceased empress In-Yo, is our narrator. Telling cleric, Chih(they), the story of empress In-Yo, from her marriage and exile, to how she took the throne. This world is so full of secrets and strife, a world where wars are won by “fierce women raised by angry mothers”, and history outlasts all the silences and erasures. This is a novella but feels so much longer in the best way.
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I don‘t always like the novella length, it‘s difficult to get right, but this genre bending fantasy is perfectly suited to it. Its vibe is like an Asian period drama crossed with mythology. It centers on female friendships that spring up in the fight against a sexist oppressive regime. #PopSugar2022AHugoAwardWinner
Feels like it belongs to the canon of ancient legend. Hard to say much without spoiling a novella, but while I loved the way this tale unspooled, I was saddened by the necessity of repeated calculation and sacrifice that always seems to accompany imperial sagas, no matter how much more indelible to the mind the flavour of tragic happenings is. I don't know if you call the ending hopeful, but it's worth pondering. Huzzah for non-binary rep!
Magnificent. The writing is so beautiful. Nghi Vo is an incredible storyteller. The prose is wonderful & the characters are incredibly rich for a story less than 100 pages long. The mythos is amazing, reminiscent of an Imperial era China, & the commentary on the patriarchy is inspiring. I love the strength & cunning of Empress In-Yo. Highly recommend for anyone who loves fantasy with a folklore feel. Short & sweet, but packs a magnificent punch.
It lives up to the hype. I loved it, and the audiobook narration was great. A fierce story of revenge, power and love. The empress reminds me of Catherine the great and her rise. The story doesn‘t sugar coat what it takes to grip power, and shows the empress as both clear eyed and ruthless.
In this Hugo-nominated novella, an aging former handmaiden and a journeying cleric converge on Thriving Fortune, the cursed and isolated estate where the young foreign empress once plotted her revenge against the empire that destroyed her people. I found this one intricate and fascinating—with such a novel perspective and narrative structure, but it does take a while to get your bearings! I‘m very curious about the next book in the series.
I‘m still not sure how I feel about this one, other than realizing that perhaps novellas are not really my jam. I liked the world-building (but I wanted more). The characters were interesting (but I wanted more). The writing was beautiful, the plot was clever, but I didn‘t feel like I connected with either of the main characters. Overall, I just wanted more fleshing out of everything—and I think this may just be an issue I have with novellas.
Beautiful novella, I really loved the story and how it unfolded, in separate talks between the 2 main characters. Great writing! Thanks for TOR free ebook program, I already got the second book in The Singing Hills Cycle, I will start it soon.
Also finished last installment in the Murderbot series, Fugitive Telemetry; this series keep going strong and I love it.
Here is my #BookSpinBingo board
🎧 Thank you HOOPLA & Josefine! Great novella!
(EDIT: I did warn you 😁 I‘m caught up for now, sorry so many)
Reasons I liked it (so I don‘t spoiler-it).
I feel a short story/novella is a difficult thing to write. Stephen King who can spend ten pages describing a fire hydrant is also a fantastic short story teller.
This book hits that mark. ⭐️ It‘s succinct. No extra words. I feel all the words belonged in this story.
This got my attention because of the cover. I read the entire thing in an afternoon. Thankfully there's another book in the series because I definitely didn't get my fix. One main character is a bird. One is genderless. The third is an old woman named Rabbit. If you're still with me, definitely give this a go.
#BookSpinBingo square 10
Excellent storytelling in this Hugo Best Novella nominee! An elderly woman who was a servant to a former empress tells a cleric about her time at the court, in a story with some surprising twists. @hugoawards @hugo2021
I'm at 9 hours and 20 minutes for the #20in4 readathon. One more day to go!
"Angry mothers raise daughters fierce enough to fight wolves". Such a vibrant story told in so few pages! It's quite impressive that the author can build this whole world in less than 120 pages. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Nghi Vo.
Next book in the #Asianreadathon. A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This book chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy. The country represented is Vietnam.
I loved this book in a way that I'm not sure I can put into words. It's about the way that material objects and memories combine to make history. It's about power in different forms - what it gives and what it takes away. I think I'll be thinking about it for a long time, and I can't wait to read the sequel.
At first I was bummed about the rainy day we had today (that might be snow overnight? I'm over you, March) but the gloomy atmosphere after work turned out to be the perfect ambience for this fairy tale of a novella. I was utterly confused at first but fell into the story relatively quickly, and I think Nghi Vo has a gift for wonderful prose. I never felt truly immersed in the story's world but I still liked it and will read more from this author.
This was so beautifully written and though just a novella, didn't leave me wanting for information nor did it overload me with it. Interesting story of women, both the ones in power and those very much not, and politics and how history can be distorted or erased. Looking forward to the sequel and Vo's soon to be released novel, The Chosen and the Beautiful, which is a queer retelling of the Great Gatsby! 😱
I feel like I'm always saying it, but this right here, is why I love novellas so much. In 100 pages (sometimes a little more) I find myself running the gambit of emotions. Anger, hurt, joy, sorrow. This book made me feel them all and so much more, and I loved every moment.
A beautifully quiet, powerful novella about a woman servant, nicknamed Rabbit, who served an empress who overthrew the empire she was forced to marry into as a foreigner (she is incidentally queer too!). Rabbit's story is told through a frame narrative of a nonbinary cleric / archivist who visits Rabbit and the empress's former home in exile by a magical lake surrounded by ghosts. Gorgeous writing, understated emotional resonance.
Between the death of one empress and the coronation of another, a cleric/historian meets a former servant of the former empress, and listens to the story of her rise. It's a crafty novella, with stories inside stories, often told through indirection, and as interested how a story is told as in the story itself. I liked it much, and will read the next.
Wow. I don‘t know what I was expecting but it definitely wasn‘t this! Such a beautifully written story with fascinating characters told in such a short amount of time (this is a novella). This feels almost like reading a fairytale, absolutely lovely. There‘s the story being told and the story you get when you read between the lines and the weight of it was surprising for such a small book. #merryreaders #wintergames2020 @Clwojick