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Reviews by Contributor: Vo, Nghi (7)

Wedding Bells

The Brides of High Hill  (Singing Hills Cycle, volume 5)

By Nghi Vo  

29 Mar, 2024

Doing the WFC's Homework


2024’s novella The Brides of High Hill is the fifth volume in Nghi Vo’s secondary universe fantasy Singing Hills Cycle.

En route to Doi Cao, the Pham entourage encounters indigo-robed Cleric Chih while en route to Pham Nhung’s impending wedding. Believing that a cleric would be a propitious addition to a wedding party, Nhung and her parents persuade Chih to accompany them to Doi Cao.

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Now That We’re Done

Mammoths at the Gates  (Singing Hills Cycle, volume 4)

By Nghi Vo  

4 May, 2023

Miscellaneous Reviews


Mammoths at the Gates is the fourth installment in Nghi Vo’s Singing Hill’s Cycle. Reviews of the previous three stories may be found here, here, and here.

Cleric Chih returns home to the Singing Hills abbey. Some say one can never go home again. In the case of Cleric Chih, one can go home. Sometimes, however, there is a pair of royal mammoths waiting for one.

Royal mammoths being able to easily flatten the gates and the monastery within, their presence is a matter of concern.

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Raconteurs & Rapscallions

Into the Riverlands  (The Singing Hills Cycle, volume 3)

By Nghi Vo  

13 Jan, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework


2022’s Into the Riverlands is the third installment in Nghi Vo’s secondary-world fantasy series, The Singing Hills Cycle1.

Cleric Chih and their intelligent talking bird companion, Almost Brilliant, venture down into the Riverlands. On the plus side, along the river there are fewer fantastical beasts to fear. But … there are lots of humans, who can be just as troublesome as shape-shifting tigers. 

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Tomorrow is My Turn

Siren Queen

By Nghi Vo  

17 Jan, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Nghi Vo’s 2022 Siren Queen is a stand-alone novella.

A Chinese-American girl passes by a moving picture theatre, the Comique, as she walks from home to school and back. This is her first exposure to the magic of the movies, still in their infancy. Presented with the opportunity to work in film, if only as an extra, she jumps at the chance. 

Movie magic is very literal magic. It can cost movie folk everything, even their birthname (as is the case with the protagonist). But the actress the world came to know as Luli Wei was willing to risk everything to become a star.

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Tigers Eating People’s Faces

The Chosen and The Beautiful

By Nghi Vo  

18 Jun, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Nghi Vo’s 2021 The Chosen and The Beautiful is a standalone fantasy reimagining of The Great Gatsby.

Chic athlete Jordan Baker is one of the Louisville Bakers. She is also Vietnamese (or as Americans of Jazz Age America call it, Tonkinese”); she was saved from certain death by Miss Eliza Baker when Jordan was just a baby. Jordan’s social set see Jordan as delightfully exotic, a perfect China1 doll whom they certainly don’t mean when they discuss the need to expel Asians and other races from the US in a bid to keep America white. 

Despite the background anxiety of the impending Manchester Act2, which will both hinder immigration from unworthy nations and facilitate the return to said nations of persons no longer deemed suitable for the US by its white elites, Jordan’s life is a whirlwind of parties, booze, and casual lovers of both sexes. This giddy existence is going to be greatly complicated by close chum Daisy Buchanan.

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Thy Fearful Symmetry

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain  (Singing Hills Cycle, volume 2)

By Nghi Vo  

18 Sep, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Nghi Vo’s 2020 When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain is a secondary universe fantasy. It is the second volume in her Singing Hills Cycle.

Cleric Chih and their guide Si-yu ride on mammoth-back to an isolated way station. They hope to find a place to rest for the night. Instead, they find an unconscious man and three tigers. Tigers are generally bad news for travellers. These particular tigers are of the shape-shifting, talking variety, they are also very hungry tigers. 

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