cover image Into the Riverlands

Into the Riverlands

Nghi Vo. Tordotcom, $19.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-85142-0

Historian cleric Chih returns in Vo’s spellbinding third Singing Hills Cycle novella (after When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain). This time, Chih and their companion Almost Brilliant, a bird with near-perfect memory, wander into the riverlands of Anh, where an encounter with a bully brings them together with two young women: a martial artist skilled in a rare style and her sworn sister, a self-proclaimed “ugly girl.” The four of them accept an elderly couple’s offer to escort them through the land’s winding trails, though their guides have no patience for the myths and rumors that Chih collects. When they come upon the remains of a man killed in the fashion of one of those very myths, Chih finds that they can no longer just passively record stories—they’re in one. Vo expertly weaves myths and histories of this fantastical land throughout, while also offering readers a deeper understanding of Chih themself, a character who may have been left as a framing device in lesser hands. The result is a pitch-perfect series installment. (Oct.)