NovelReads: The Empress Of Salt And Fortune By Nghi Vo

By Claire Wu


One of the dreamiest novellas around, Nghi Vo has created a beautiful little world in The Empress of Salt and Fortune. Set in an empire reminiscent of ancient imperial China, a walking cleric named Chih and her companion Almost Brilliant befriend Rabbit, an elderly woman who once was a handmaiden to the exiled Empress In-Yo from the North. We are transported to the secret, intimate unraveling of In-Yo's reign and the complexity of the main characters' relationships in only 100 pages. Mystical, awe-inducing, and meaningful, the only reason a star has been taken off is because I wish the story was longer.


One of the dreamiest novellas around, Nghi Vo has created a beautiful little world in The Empress of Salt and Fortune. Set in an empire reminiscent of ancient imperial China, a walking cleric named Chih and her companion Almost Brilliant befriend Rabbit, an elderly woman who once was a handmaiden to the exiled Empress In-Yo from the North. We are transported to the secret, intimate unraveling of In-Yo's reign and the complexity of the main characters' relationships in only 100 pages. Mystical, awe-inducing, and meaningful, the only reason a star has been taken off is because I wish the story was longer.


There is beauty in a book that gets better after you've finished reading and reflecting on its content. Even though my initial reaction to this book was that it was a little bit too flowery and extravagant for my taste, I think that it actually suits the book and defines its own aura unique from other fantasy stories similar to it. I believe that Vo's attention to detail for aspects outside of the writing itself, such as the pacing of the story and the cover complement the novella wonderfully as well. This book is one to be etched in readers' memories for a long time (in the best way possible!)...

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