I really enjoyed this!
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.
We learn so much more about Chih in this book without having to go into minute details about them particularly. It’s more so the way they react to situations or how much they rely on Almost Brilliant’s companionship. The stoicism when they had to tell the story to the tiger’s even though they were frightened really conveyed their character to me.
Si-Yu was a quirky character. I liked that we got to learn more about the different kinds of people in this world and how they differ from the previous book. I would of liked to have learnt more about the Mammoth corp and the history of their family but alas this was a novella and there is only so much information we are going to be given about each character.
What really captivated me was the tigers, I was very much interested and intrigued by them from the start. The fact that they can shapeshift into humans, yet they are still considered tigers. The way Chih had to negotiate with them in order to not be eaten and the way they interjected throughout the course of the tale because Chih had it wrong. How Chih had to reiterate that this was only the way they had been told the tale and to ask the tigers to correct it.
The one qualm I have is that the writing style is a little hard to get into. It’s kind of structured in a way that you really have to pay attention at all times and take in what is being said. It’s quite a lyrical and descriptive style and isn’t something I am able to just pick up straight away I have to kind of ease myself into it. And being that this is so short the books halfway done by the time I’m situated.
⭐️3/5 stars I was invested, definitely unlike anything I’ve read before!