Title: The Empress of Salt and Fortune
Author: Nghi Vo
Publication date: March 24th, 2020
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.
A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.
**Thank you to Netgalley, Tor.com, and Nghi Vo for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**
A delightful short story with Asian influences. The story of a royal from the north brought to wed the emperor in the south. She gives him a son and earns her exile, where she uses her time to plot against the crown. This book is told in true storyteller fashion, bits of information is provided piecemeal by the woman, Rabbit, narrating the tale. The recipient of the tale, Chih, is a cleric whose job is to document history and seek answers.
Rabbit’s story tells a different one than is told currently in the empire, however it is a heartbreaking tale of sacrifice, loss, and loyalty. This is a very quick read, and some bits are left up to the imagination and hinted at, but the ending is clear and not completely surprising. The flow of this book was beautiful and fit the story line perfectly. I normally don’t enjoy Asian influenced storytelling as much, but this was short, sweet, and evocative.
There isn’t much to say about a book that is 112 pages that I haven’t already said, so this review will be shorter than usual!
Happy reading, folks!