Review: When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

Series: The Singing Hills Cycle #2
Author: Nghi Vo
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: December 8th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Animal death

I received a copy of When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Yes! The sequel to The Empress of Salt and Fortune is here! And somehow, I think it’s even better than the first (is that possible?). Either way, Nghi Vo’s When the Tiger Comes Down the Mountain is not a novel you’ll want to miss out on.

Chih is a cleric, and as such they travel the world recording stories and legends. Both for recording purposes, and so that everyone has a chance to share their story. This is a job that Chih has put their entire heart and soul into.

It’s also the reason why Chih has found themselves in a very interesting predicament. While off on a journey to gain new stories, the were trapped by three tigers. Those tigers have an opinion on one of Chih’s stories – and the warping ways of history – and want it to be known.

“Well, at least Almost Brilliant isn’t here to make fun of me.”

When the Tiger Comes Down the Mountain is arguably one of my favorite novellas of 2020, and trust me, I’ve read a lot of them. Then again, I knew that I would love this tale, as Nghi Vo has a way with words.

Chih is such an endearing character, whether they’re telling a story or recording it. This is the second adventure we got to learn about in-depth, and there’s little doubt in my mind that it’s one of the most dangerous encounters they’ve had to date. That in itself probably means Chih should start recording their very own story.

I adored the Chih’s telling of the tale, and more importantly; the three tiger women’s interjections with their version of events. It was fascinating, it flowed so wonderfully, and it snuck plenty of commentary into the mix. In short, I loved every single minute of it.

Obviously, I’m going to give even more bonus points for representation here: Chih is non-binary, there’s a scholar/predator romance (with a sapphic twist, love it), and so much more. This whole world is vibrant and inclusive, and I simply cannot get enough of it. I need it just like I need my air. Or chocolate.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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