When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo is the second novella is the second book in The Singing Hills Cycle. Thank you to Tor and Netgalley for the e-arc! When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain releases on December 8th!
I loved The Empress of Salt and Fortune and felt myself completely drawn into that world and its story. So of course, I was elated to see the upcoming release of another book set within the same world with the same main character. The Tiger Came Down the Mountain did not disappoint! While taking place in the same world and starring the same main character, The Empress of Salt and Fortune, and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain are each a fully standalone story that can be read separately from each other.
In the novella, the cleric Chih ends up in a more dangerous situation than before. In their effort to find out more about the Northern villages and the Mammoth Army, the cleric finds themself stranded with a mammoth soldier and an injured man at the mercy of tigers and the bitter cold of winter.
But, a story might be just the thing to save them and hold the tigers at bay. It had better be a good one, as help is hours away.
Like last time, this is a story within a story. Vo once again writes two lush and intertwining stories that fit together perfectly. This time, the stakes are higher, because the tigers know a different version of the story, the correct version. If Chih gets it wrong too many times they’ll make a tasty snack.
I loved both stories. It was great to see Chih have a larger part in the story than in The Empress of Salt and Fortune where they were more of a vessel than a character. You can their skill at weaving a story and holding an audience. A skill that is very useful in this circumstance. The story of the scholar and the tiger queen was intricate and I loved seeing multiple sides of the story. It was an interesting look into how we record history.
I would highly recommend When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain. It is a lushly written novella which packs a punch despite how short it is.
Rep: Non-binary MC, sapphic romance