When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain
by Nghi Vo
This is a companion novella to The Empress of Salt and Fortune, not a sequel or a prequel, but a companion: another experience of Cleric Chih. It doesn’t have the same calm mood of the other, and I didn’t enjoy it quiet as much, but it’s still really very good and a fascinating story that deals more directly in the magical realism of this world. It’s also another beautifully crafted example of complex story telling with both a framing story and an interior story. It felt like a combination of Scheherazade and Rashomon, as it deals with the use of storytelling as a way to survive the night and with conflicting versions of the same story.
I definitely recommend it.
Also, a minor spoiler:
It has possibly the single best concluding sentence to a fairytale for the interior story: “They lived well-fed until they were only bones, and even their bones were happy, turning white and sharp as teeth in the moonlight.”