Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was
1 journaler for this copy...
It's a hilarious - and sometimes touching - story set in an alternate-history-China. The whole thing's wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, with the feel of the long-ago-and-far-away culture and mythology. It's narrated by Number Ten Ox (he's the tenth son, and "rather strong" - an understatement, as it turns out), who finds himself in a reluctant alliance with the "old beyond belief" Master Li (who always introduces himself by adding "there is a slight flaw in my character" - though why he'd limit himself to only one flaw is never explained!) to try and solve a very distressing plague that has rendered the village's children comatose.
Their adventures take them far indeed, and generally involve great perils (especially for Number Ten Ox - that sword dance was nerve-wracking!) as well as stunningly beautiful sights. There are eccentric characters everywhere, some almost as eccentric as Master Li himself; there is magic of many types and degrees; there are deities of varying powers and whims. And snark - oh, so much snark! There's romance too, though it doesn't always go well for our hero.
Between the dry humor, the outrageous situations, and the action-packed and inventive explorations and escapes, the story's tremendous fun, with too many delightful bits for me to quote. I loved this book!
[There's a TV Tropes page for the book as well. And the second book, Story of the Stone, is quite entertaining too.]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
[See other recent releases in NH here.]
*** Released for the 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count release challenge. See this year's GBBC here. ***
*** Released for the 2018 Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes release challenge. ***