Author: Richelle Mead
Read: 25th December 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Chinese Mythology
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village. Her people are at the mercy of a mysterious faraway kingdom, which delivers food in return for precious metals mined from the treacherous cliffs surrounding them.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, their rations shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the boy she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
Then Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon..
Set in what I assume to by Dynasty China, Fei is an apprentice painter in her small mountain top village where the only work is that of a painter, a servant or a miner. People in the town have not been able to hear sound for generations – they live in constant silence and must use sign language to communicate with one another. But the people in the village are slowly going blind and beginning to starve. With the road to pastures and fields blocked off for several years from a landslide, the people of the village must depend on the township at the bottom of the mountain to send them food and all of the food is rationed out carefully, with stealing a high crime. Fei, not knowing what to do, wishes she could help her people out somehow.
When one morning she awakens to the headboard of her bed banging against the wall, she is shocked. She cannot phantom what this is, does not understand why she can hear all of a sudden. When her ex-lover Li Wei, who she had to spilt from in order to go on with her apprenticeship, tells her he’s going to leave the village, Fei realises that she must go with him in order to make sure he survives going down the cliff face – the sides are unstable and rocks fall often and without the ability to hear, it’s suicidal. They want to talk with the man who gives them the food to see if he can help to give them more so that their village will survive.
What they find is beyond their imagination and they soon come to realise that not everything is at it seems from their mountain top. With dangers looming at every turn, from entering the township to exiting it once again as well as dealing with all the people inside, Fei and Li Wei scramble back to warn their village of the dangers it faces.
A lot of people didn’t enjoy this book from what I’ve seen on Goodreads, but I thought it was a nice quick read. Although I do study Chinese, I don’t actually know the myth the book is based on because Chinese folklore isn’t a part of any of my modules. But I liked it, I liked the way Fei was an expert painter and even though he worked in the mines all day, Li Wei was a good carver. Their old love blossoms again towards the end of the story and I thought it was cute after two years of separation how they came together to get answers and help their village.
If you liked Richelle Mead’s other books, the Vampire Academy series or the Bloodlines series, I don’t know how much you’ll like this. It is very different from her other books and the world building isn’t overly done like we have for the two other series. It’s more, if you liked the concept of ACOTAR you’ll like this. Also, I’ve come to learn that Richelle Mead is bringing out a new book series in April, the first book being The Glittering Court and it sounds really good so I’m super excited for that one.
I gave this book a 4/5🌟