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The Brides of High Hill (The Singing Hills…
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The Brides of High Hill (The Singing Hills Cycle Book 5) (edition 2024)

by Nghi Vo (Author)

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1069261,440 (4.21)8
"The cleric Chih accompanies a beautiful young bride to her wedding to the aging ruler of a crumbling estate situated at the crossroads of dead empires. The bride's party is welcomed with elaborate courtesies and extravagant banquets, but between the frightened servants and the cryptic warnings of the lord's mad son, they quickly realize that something is haunting the shadowed halls. As Chih and the bride-to-be explore empty rooms and desolate courtyards, they are drawn into the mystery of what became of Lord Guo's previous wives and the dark history of Doi Cao itself. But as the wedding night draws to its close, Chih will learn at their peril that not all monsters are to be found in the shadows; some hide in plain sight" --… (more)
Member:leahsusan
Title:The Brides of High Hill (The Singing Hills Cycle Book 5)
Authors:Nghi Vo (Author)
Info:Tordotcom (2024), 116 pages
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The Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Cleric Chih of the Singing Hills abbey accompanies a young woman and her parents with their lengthy but poorly fitted baggage train to marry her off to a rich older nobleman and save themselves from poverty. Chih misses his neixin, Almost Brilliant, the hoopoe shaped spirit that remembers everything, but is fascinated by the young Pham Nhung and reluctant to see her given to Lord Gao, especially after the appearance at the first banquet of his disturbed son. And their wanderings about the estate raise even more concerns. From the beginning, this story is told with an air of uneasiness that raises questions, and ready explanations from countless stories are unsatisfactory answers. ( )
  quondame | Jul 5, 2024 |
Having read this book, I am now immensely curious what Nghi Vo would do with a completely standalone gothic horror novel, something not set in the Singing Hills universe. Because while I loved seeing more of Cleric Chih, it was a bit weird having the setting for this story so much darker than the rest of the series. Also, with the focus in this book on the gothic horror / mystery aspect, there was less of the story & memory trope that I'm used to in this series. (Though there are still some great quotes about stories.)

Most of what I want to say about the book involves major spoilers (and it's best to read this book knowing as little as possible about the twists involved—even saying that there are twists feels like it might be saying too much) so I will just say that I enjoyed the book, even though it doesn't feel quite like the rest of the series in tone. This is not my favorite of the series (that honor remains with Into the Riverlands) but it is still a very enjoyable book and would be a great book to read for a creepy (yet not too scary) Halloween-time read. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Jul 5, 2024 |
You ever read a book and then spend the whole time wondering what it was you were reading? All the vibes from this one really sounded amazing and I was thrilled to get some gothic fantasy horror, however, I have no idea what I even read. I spent the whole time waiting for things to be explained, but I swear by the time I got what I think was the big reveal it would just make me more and more confused. However, the writing style was fantastic and really great at creating the gothic ambience and I would be interested in reading more by this author. ( )
  BookReviewsbyTaylor | Jun 28, 2024 |
A novella of the Singing Hills Cycle!

The story beckons, nay entices you to follow Cleric Chih’s journey to Doi Cao. A chance meeting on the road has Chih accompanying the merchant family Pham to the walled estate of Doi Cao for their daughter Pham Nhung’s wedding to Lord Gho.
Chih (they) innocently investigate Nhung’s new home and uncover some places left to rot. “They” become concerned for Nhung. Even more so when Chih discovers that Nhung is not the first bride here. What happened to the previous wives of Lord Gho?
They meet the Lord Gho’s son Zhuhai. Nhung declares him beautiful. Zhuhai is a troubled young lord who appears ill, possibly cursed Chih decides.
“The first time they had met him, he had been full of scorn, and the second time, he had been furious. This time, he moved with a faltering step, his arms hanging woodenly down by his sides and his head jerked up towards the sky as if there was a string running from his chin to the rooftops.”
Something is wrong. Chih is concerned for Nhung, yet can’t determine what troubles them. When they find out, they’re already in danger. Survival will be hanging by a thread, or a teapot.
A fabulously told, gothic type fantasy! What is reality? What is false?
The story flowed beautifully. I loved it!

A TOR ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change ( )
  eyes.2c | Jun 19, 2024 |
Darker than I expected. But this is a fantastic book. I love Cleric Chih and Almost Brilliant and their love of stories. ( )
  Onilyn | Jun 19, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Vo’s novella is (by nature of being a novella) short and to the point. The clues as to what is going on are clear, despite which readers may well be surprised by the resolution. If the elegant structure were not sufficient, the characters are engaging and the prose up to Vo’s high standard.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nghi Voprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foeckler, CJAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foltzer, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winans, AlyssaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Cleric Thien was telling them that it always started with a story.
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In the capital city of Anh, where the Empress of Wheat and Flood ruled from the mammoth and lion throne, western Ji was considered contested territory, while western Ji considered itself uncontestedly independent. Together the two things led to a history marked with violence and conflict, evident from the curtain wall around the estate. The wall, as Chih could see when they and Nhung drew near, was a grim and gray thing, likely as thick as a child was tall. (chapter 1)
[from a book rescued from Doi Cao's rotting library]
In the final years of the Ku Dynasty, the empire was eaten from within by rich bureaucrats and from without by strange beasts. These beasts, it seemed to me, walked in darkness and in the high places and the low ones, as sly as the scarf of a dancing girl trailed over an unwary nape, as deadly as poison offered by a friend or a lover. (chapter 5)
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"The cleric Chih accompanies a beautiful young bride to her wedding to the aging ruler of a crumbling estate situated at the crossroads of dead empires. The bride's party is welcomed with elaborate courtesies and extravagant banquets, but between the frightened servants and the cryptic warnings of the lord's mad son, they quickly realize that something is haunting the shadowed halls. As Chih and the bride-to-be explore empty rooms and desolate courtyards, they are drawn into the mystery of what became of Lord Guo's previous wives and the dark history of Doi Cao itself. But as the wedding night draws to its close, Chih will learn at their peril that not all monsters are to be found in the shadows; some hide in plain sight" --

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