When the tiger came down the mountain

Nghi Vo

Book - 2020

"The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover-a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty--and discover how truth can survive becoming history. Nghi Vo returns to the empire of Ahn and the Singing Hills Cycle in When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, a mesmerizing, lush stand-alone follow-up to ...The Empress of Salt and Fortune."--Publisher.

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Series
Vo, Nghi. Singing Hills Cycle ; 2.
Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York : Tom Doherty Associates 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Tordotcom Book"--Title page verso.
"[S]tandalone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune." -- back cover
Physical Description
125 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781250786135
1250786134
Main Author
Nghi Vo (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Vo's sequel to The Empress of Salt and Fortune (2020) continues the adventures of the story-collecting cleric Chih, who is this time travelling their way north with a soldier and her mammoth mount. On their way through the pass, they are stopped by three shapeshifting tiger sisters, and they only narrowly escape being eaten when Chih mentions the story of Ho Thi Thao, a tigress who found a human wife, Scholar Dien. Chih now must tell the story of their marriage while the sisters correct her version, which becomes a balancing act between keeping them interested and not provoking their carnivorous ire because of the story's inaccuracies. Similar to Vo's previous novella, the bulk of the narrative is made up of stories told to and by the protagonist, in this case two competing versions of the same legendary romance. While less concerned with geopolitics and history than the previous volume, this new entry should please Vo's fans as well as anyone interested in fantasy worlds with a non-western influence similar to the work of Neon Yang, Zen Cho, or Paul Krueger. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

As a Singing Hills cleric, Chih has been traveling and gathering stories in the Northern Province, now heading up a pass with Si-yu, one of the mammoth corp. As a snowstorm picks up they arrive at a way station where they are attacked by three hungry tigers, one who can change form into a woman as a tiger queen. Now facing off against these incredible beasts, Chih is able to delay their deaths with the promise of a story of Ho Thi Thao, a famous tiger, and Dieu, her scholar and lover. As Chih unravels the story as they know it, they begin to learn that truth and history are influenced by the perspective of those who tell it. This compelling plot is fast-paced, while the writing creates an intimate story that is filled with beautiful prose and lush worldbuilding. VERDICT This stand-alone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune is as sensuous and lyrical as Vo's debut. Readers may miss Chih's companion, Almost Brilliant, but the mammoth Piluk and tiger queen Ho Sinh Loan are enchanting additions.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Vo follows The Empress of Salt and Fortune with another dazzling, standalone novella featuring Cleric Chih as they explore the northern region of Anh. A quick trip to a local way station is derailed by a trio of tigers who corner Chih and their guide, Si-yu, in a barn. When the tigers, who speak with human voices, learn that Chih is an accomplished story archivist, they demand to hear the human version of a legend shared among their kind before eating the travelers. At their request, Chih tells the story of Scholar Dieu, a woman dedicated to her studies, who comes upon the tiger Ho Thi Thao. Though the tigers frequently interrupt Chih to counter the human narrative with their own version of events, it is clear Dieu and Ho Thi Thao are intricately linked in both human and tiger history. Vo elegantly threads the legend through the frame story, and Chih's personal history is equally, if not more, fascinating than the legend of Ho Thi Thao. Readers who missed Vo's debut will have no trouble following the second leg of Chih's travels, and those returning will be pleased to sink into another lush, sophisticated story of queer love and survival. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Dec.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover-a woman ofcourage, intelligence, and beauty-and discover how truth can survive becoming history"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From Locus and Ignyte finalist, Crawford Award winner, and bestselling author Nghi Vo comes the second installment in a Hugo Award-winning series"A stunning gem of a novella that explores the complexity and layers of storytelling and celebrates the wonder of queer love. I could read about Chih recording tales forever."—Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree"Dangerous, subtle, unexpected and familiar, angry and ferocious and hopeful. . . . The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a remarkable accomplishment of storytelling."—NPRThe cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.Nghi Vo returns to the empire of Ahn and The Singing Hills Cycle in When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, a mesmerizing, lush standalone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune.The Hugo Award-winning Singing Hills CycleThe Empress of Salt and FortuneWhen the Tiger Came Down the MountainInto the RiverlandsThe novellas of The Singing Hills Cycle are linked by the cleric Chih, but may be read in any order, with each story serving as an entry point.