The Brides of High Hill

You know the drill by now. Cleric Chih and their neixin, Almost Brilliant, are somewhere out in the world. They get into an adventure. Stories are told, and a mystery is solved. Except, of course, if Nghi Vo did the same thing with every story in the Singing Hills cycle, it would get quite dull. So she doesn’t. While every story has those core elements, each one proceeds very differently. Sometimes we are even deprived of the company of Almost Brilliant, as is the case for most of The Brides of High Hill, though I hope Vo won’t do that too often because the neixin is very much the star of the show.

The Brides of High Hill, as you might perhaps expect from the title, starts of with something of a Bluebeard theme to it. Cleric Chih has fallen in with a party on the road. The Phams, a somewhat impoverished noble family, are taking their young daughter, Nhung, to get married. She is to wed Lord Guo, of the city of Doi Cao. He is very wealthy, and very old. He has had several wives before. He also has a son, whom Nhung is told is insane. Of course the young man is handsome, and he tries to give Nhung a terrible warning.

Nhung’s parents are far too keen to avail themselves of part of Lord Guo’s fortune, and his impressive hospitality, to worry about the fate of their daughter. Fortunately for Nhung, she has taken a liking to Cleric Chih, and clerics have sufficient status in society for our hero to be of some small assistance to the unfortunate girl.

You can see where all of this is going. Except of course you can’t, because this is a Singing Hills novella, so you know that there will be a twist somewhere towards the end of the story.

This latest installment in the series is somewhat darker than previous books, though it is apparently nowhere near as dark as the legendary baby-eating story that Vo talks about in her recent appearance on The Coode Street Podcast. are probably right to have passed on it, because the market these days seems to be very much in favour of fluffiness, but I do hope that it gets to see print at some point in the future.

Beyond that there is not a lot I can say, except that I love these books, and I will keep buying them as long as Vo keeps churning new ones out.

book cover
Title: The Brides of High Hill
By: Nghi Vo
Purchase links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US UK
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