The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water
by Zen Cho
This novella is described as a found-family wuxia* fantasy, so obviously I had to read it immediately. It was also a reminder to check in on this author whose previous books I’ve really enjoyed. This novella was really good and fit in quite well with both The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain.
It’s amusingly laid-back in tone given how action-packed it is. It’s full of twists and turns despite being quite short. The writing is a work of art and also hilarious; the characters and relationships are complex and play with expectations and stereotypes; and the world building is rich without being dense.
Having read it along with the Hugo-nominated novellas that Anna recently reviewed, it’s solidly grouped with them in my mind as also having been nominated since it was just as good and just as distinct. I highly recommend all of them!
* Wuxia is a genre of Chinese martial arts story that I’ve recently watched a lot of.
This was so good that I kept forgetting that it wasn’t one of the Hugo-nominated ones! It really fit right in with the rest of them.