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The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Par / By Nghi Vo

#2 Singing Hills Cycle


[FR] Le cycle de The Singing Hills
The Empress of Salt and Fortune
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain
Into the Riverlands

Avec le cœur d’un conte d’Atwood et les images d’un drame asiatique classique, The Empress of Salt and Fortune de Nghi Vo est un récit écrit de façon serrée et luxuriante sur l’empire, la narration et la colère des femmes.


[EN] The Singing Hills Cycle
The Empress of Salt and Fortune
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain
Into the Riverlands
With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama, Nghi Vo’s The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

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Une jeune royale du grand nord est envoyée au sud pour un mariage politique dans un empire qui rappelle la Chine impériale. Ses frères sont morts, ses armées et leurs mammouths de guerre ont été vaincus depuis longtemps et mis en cage derrière leurs frontières. Seule et parfois injuriée, elle doit choisir ses alliés avec soin.

Rabbit, une servante, vendue par ses parents au palais pour avoir manqué de cinq paniers de teinture, se lie d’amitié avec la nouvelle épouse solitaire de l’empereur et obtient plus que ce qu’elle avait prévu.

À la fois high fantasy féministe et réquisitoire contre la monarchie, ce premier roman évocateur suit l’ascension de l’impératrice In-yo, qui a peu de ressources et peu d’amis. Fille du Nord, elle est exilée en été pour des raisons magiques, mais elle va plier l’histoire à sa volonté et faire tomber ses ennemis, morceau par morceau.


A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.

Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

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Auteur.rice / Author

Nghi Vo est l’auteur des romans Siren Queen et The Chosen and the Beautiful, ainsi que des nouvelles acclamées When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain et The Empress of Salt and Fortune, finalistes des prix Locus et Ignyte et lauréates des prix Crawford et Hugo. Née dans l’Illinois, elle vit aujourd’hui sur les rives du lac Michigan. Elle croit au rituel du rouge à lèvres, au pouvoir des histoires et au droit de changer d’avis.


Nghi Vo is the author of the novels Siren Queen and The Chosen and the Beautiful, as well as the acclaimed novellas When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain and The Empress of Salt and Fortune, a Locus and Ignyte Award finalist and the winner of the Crawford Award and the Hugo Award. Born in Illinois, she now lives on the shores of Lake Michigan. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.


A remarkable accomplishment of storytelling.” – NPR on The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Praise for Into the Riverlands

“A thrilling, wuxia-style addition to the series.”―BuzzFeed News

“A delicious bonbon of a novella about stories and their unreliable narrators, who wink at their listeners (or readers), fully expecting us to catch on.”―The Wall Street Journal

“Spellbinding. . . . 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.”―Publishers Weekly, (starred review)

“Rides the knife edge between telling a story and being in the middle of it and explores how tales become legends. . . . Highly recommended for . . . anyone who likes high fantasy inspired by Imperial China or wuxia movies and stories.”―Library Journal (starred review)

“The novella is written in Vo’s rich, lovely language, and it’s nice to have such a wonderful fantasy series be totally accessible in standalone volumes. . . . Fans of folklore-inspired fantasy will eat this one up.”―Booklist

Praise for the Singing Hills Cycle

“Gorgeous. Cruel. Perfect.”―Seanan McGuire

“A quiet, wrenching tale of resistance, resilience, and court intrigue.”―R. F. Kuang

“A glorious, beautifully-written tale that is both tragic and triumphant, unfolding a secret history through the ordinary artifacts of everyday life.”―Kate Elliott

“Uncovers a nuanced history of how the disenfranchised shape history, and can come to rule it, though at great cost.”―Buzzfeed

“A masterpiece of understatement and implication. . . it gives the impression of effortlessness while being quietly meticulous in every stitch.”―Nerd Daily

“[A] gorgeous debut novella.”―Paste

“Vo’s debut has it all: from sapphic love to cruel betrayals; from political intrigue to lakes that glow red to ghosts that continue to walk old paths.”―Booklist, starred review

“A stunning feminist fantasy.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An epic in miniature, beautifully realised.”―Zen Cho

“At once epic and intimate, this story of revenge, power and the weight of history is a small, masterful jewel.”―Aliette de Bodard

“Resides in the intimate margins of its (beautifully imagined) world’s history, portraying how the marginalized may yet shape those narratives and harness the power of stories.”―Indra Das

“Rich details and emotional prose captures readers from the first page of this imaginative and powerful novella. “―Library Journal


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