Last book I read for Owlcrate-a-thon (Owlcrate readathon), I was worried that I would not like or not be able to finish it because of all the bad reviews I saw and heard about. I am glad I didn’t listen to them.
Fei is an artist in a small village on a mountain, cut off from a food source and the outside world. Their community relies on food they get for the “township” that is sent up on a zipline in exchange for the metals they mine. The entire village has been deaf for centuries since the pixius (mythical Chinese flying dragon-lion) left according to legend. Now people are starting to go blind too, including Fei’s sister, which leaves them as beggars in a community where they are getting less and less food due to less metals being found in the mines. Fei starts to have strange dreams and one day wakes up and is able to hear. To save her sister and her community, she and her friend, Li Wen, attempt to climb down the mountain to convince the “township” to send more food. But what they find at the bottom of the mountain, changes everything.
The biggest criticism of the book is the lack of Chinese culture in a book advertised as “a breathtaking new fanasty steeping in Chinese folklore.” This book made some references as the beginning of the book to some folklore but the end of the book is where it is most prevalent but a lot of reviewer did not make it to the end. I love dystopian books and usually do not read the back of books or the review before reading a book so I don’t have expectations. I was expecting this to be bad and I ended up enjoying it. It is a slow build at the beginning but once they head down the mountain, it read fast for me.
I gave 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.