Top positive review
Decent Asian fantasy
on August 7, 2016
Engaging fiction set in ancient China is hard to come by (I'm a rabid fan of Robert Van Gulik's Judge Dee) so I assuage my hunger with tales set in alternate or fantasy Chinas. There are very few authors who can write good fantasy AND evoke the authentic atmosphere of ancient China. Guy Gavriel Kay and Barry Hughart are the best, in my opinion. Daniel Fox does reasonably well in this first book of the Moshui series. Well enough that I'm willing to buy the other two books.
He never calls the empire in this story "China", but the details, motifs, folk beliefs, and behaviors are all spot on. The details Fox gets right are the ones most Western authors miss. Yes, there are fantastical elements that are not strictly Chinese, but the feel I was looking for was there. I enjoyed his story.