Fantasy, Romance

The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho

I really wanted to read a short novel that had an interesting concept so when this one was recommended to me, I grabbed the chance! Here is my review:

In the tenth court of hell, wealthy spirits bribe the bureaucrats of the underworld in order to avoid the torments of hell and not undergo reincarnation. It’s a comfortable place to live, even for those who didn’t necessarily have a choice. Siew Tsin didn’t want to marry the richest man in hell, but she’s made her peace with it. After all, she avoids all of the unpleasant aspects of death and hell. But everything changes when her husband brings home a new bride. Yonghua is an artifical woman made from terracotta. At first, Siew Tsin does not know what to make of her. But as the two sister wives frow closer, the mystery of Yonghua will draw Siew Tsin to choose between eternal life or a very final death.

I quite enjoyed reading this novel. The author did a wonderful job of taking a traditional idea and showing its different nuances. While I may not know much about the Chinese afterlife, the author did a great job of painting a vivid picture of it for readers like me. The story and the ideas it puts out there are complex. They are designed to make the reader pause and think about the implications behind the scenario. I really enjoyed having that opportunity, especially since I wasn’t expecting it. Altogether, this was a short yet thought-provoking read that is sure to delight everyone.

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