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The Water Outlaws by S. L. Huang
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The Water Outlaws (edition 2023)

by S. L. Huang (Author)

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2552106,919 (3.82)2
"Lin Chong is an expert arms instructor, training the Emperor's soldiers in sword and truncheon, battle axe and spear, lance and crossbow. Unlike bolder friends who flirt with challenging the unequal hierarchies and values of Imperial society, she believes in keeping her head down and doing her job. Until a powerful man with a vendetta rips that carefully-built life away. Disgraced, tattooed as a criminal, and on the run from an Imperial Marshall who will stop at nothing to see her dead, Lin Chong is recruited by the Bandits of Liangshan. Mountain outlaws on the margins of society, the Liangshan Bandits proclaim a belief in justice--for women, for the downtrodden, for progressive thinkers a corrupt Empire would imprison or destroy. They're also murderers, thieves, smugglers, and cutthroats. Apart, they love like demons and fight like tigers. Together, they could bring down an empire"--… (more)
Member:dharmabum1974
Title:The Water Outlaws
Authors:S. L. Huang (Author)
Info:Tordotcom (2023), 496 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Water Outlaws by SL Huang

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I read this as part of my Nebula finalist packet, and obtained a copy from my local library.

The Water Outlaws is a wild romp in the spirit of classic martial arts movies, but with a strong feminist twist. There are trigger warnings galore here, as women are abused in various ways, but it's never done gratuitously or to please the male gaze. No, Huang describes the wrongs and then establishes a cast of strong, savvy women and queer folks with a craving to survive and find justice. This is an incredibly satisfying read in that regard--a touch predictable, perhaps, but in the way of a cozy with a dark bent. Great book. ( )
  ladycato | Mar 27, 2024 |
The Water Outlaws by S.L. Huang

Brutal, tortured, oppressed society with women in this book enduring much. From the beginning the men were misogynistic, entitled, and evil with no redeeming qualities. The writing was well done, the imagery drew me in, the characters were easy to relate to, and yet…I found myself skimming from time to time. I had trouble with the Chinese names and keeping the characters sorted though the main characters were easier to follow.

This seemed to be a story of good versus evil with those in power wanting more and more while stepping on those they felt less than themselves. They had no qualms about killing, raping, torturing, and taking what they wanted.

Lin Chong had strength and power and a will to survive. Accused of something she didn’t do and by standing up for herself…she nearly died. Finding herself with a group of predominately female bandits with an agenda of her own, Lin Chong began to come into her own, realize greater power, and see that the black and white world she believed in was not quite what she thought it was.

There were elements of fantasy, magic, and myth with changes wrought by the few that might have a trickle down impact on many.

Did I enjoy this book? For the most part
Would I read more by this author? Maybe

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group for the ARC – This is my honest review.

3-4 Stars ( )
1 vote CathyGeha | Sep 19, 2023 |
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"Lin Chong is an expert arms instructor, training the Emperor's soldiers in sword and truncheon, battle axe and spear, lance and crossbow. Unlike bolder friends who flirt with challenging the unequal hierarchies and values of Imperial society, she believes in keeping her head down and doing her job. Until a powerful man with a vendetta rips that carefully-built life away. Disgraced, tattooed as a criminal, and on the run from an Imperial Marshall who will stop at nothing to see her dead, Lin Chong is recruited by the Bandits of Liangshan. Mountain outlaws on the margins of society, the Liangshan Bandits proclaim a belief in justice--for women, for the downtrodden, for progressive thinkers a corrupt Empire would imprison or destroy. They're also murderers, thieves, smugglers, and cutthroats. Apart, they love like demons and fight like tigers. Together, they could bring down an empire"--

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