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The Harvest of Lies: An Athanate Novel of Nineteenth Century Saigon (Bian's Tale Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File size : 2471 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 362 pages
- Publication date : May 26, 2018
- Publisher : Marque (May 26, 2018)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07DBPK2B6
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1912499061
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,514 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For those of you that have been following The Bite Back series you all ready know what a beloved character is Bian. And for those of you that have not...once you read her story...well you will come to love her too and will want to read the entire series. It certainly is one of my all time favorites.
In this story, Mr. Henwick skillfully leads his readers through the early stages of Bian's life. Girls during that era in Vietnam didn't have the same value as boys and Bian's parents chose to sell her and her sister. Bian was led to believe that her sister Nhung was sold as a maid. Bian was luckier as she was adopted by a French couple and given a good life but she longed for her sister and felt on hole in her heart. When she reached the age of 14 she began her hunt in earnest. There were many times during the reading of this story that I needed tissues as this writer was able to create a range of emotions.
There are so many wonderful aspects of Bian's story that it hard not to sing Mr. Henwick's praises. This is his best effort yet and I would have given this 10 stars if I could. I urge readers to sit back, read and enjoy.
Harvest of Lies takes place in colonial-era Vietnam, and Mark's knowledge of the history and culture shines through in every page, from the challenges faced by a woman of the time (particularly one belonging to two worlds) to the complicated social dynamics between the various factions and the French government. The book takes its time to immerse the reader in that melange, and then, as Bian's own world falls apart, it starts to reveal the deeper layers of the supernatural world she didn't know existed. Bian is a great character and you can begin to see the seeds of who she has become so many years later in the Bite Back series.
A very entertaining read in its own right, a fantastic start to a new series, and a great companion to the Bite Back series!
This book is the origin story of one of the major characters in the Bite Back series. I do not think having read that series is a requirement for enjoying this book. It is fully capable of standing on its own, and in many ways may be a better introduction to this world than the author's earlier books.
The author's greatest strength, in my opinion, is his ability bring to bring the world to life through character interaction. There are no jarring info dumps that distract from the story. Instead we get to ride along with Bian as she picks up bits of information along the way. If anything I was left always wanting more.
I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
This book was extremely difficult for me to set down, and I look forward to the next.
Top reviews from other countries
Though not the protagonist of the main series, Bian is one of the most intriguing characters. An Asian Athanate, skilled in many martial disciplines and also languages and politics, her back story begged to be told and I was thrilled when this book appeared.
The daughter of a disgraced mandarin, in the late 1800s Bian is adopted by a highly placed French family in French ruled Saigon. She fears for her birth family’s safety as they are hunted by a legendary villain, and she realises too late that her older sister has been sold into prostitution after the woman recruiting ‘maids’ is executed for her crimes.
Bian sets out to find her sister, but politics force a change of administration and suddenly her privileged life proves to be a fragile façade that crumbles away with alarming haste.
The supernatural elements of this story do not surface until about two thirds of the way through the book. Despite that, the story is mesmerising. Henwick’s richly layered descriptions and detailed historical and geographic research deliver a fully immersive read, and you cannot help but be swept up by Bian’s unique mixture of innocence and worldliness. I am waiting impatiently for the next one.
For those of us that have long been fans of the Athanate world in the Amber books, Bian will not come as a surprise. If you have not read those books do not be put off though, as this is a prequel and you can start with this offering. Bian as we know her is a strong, kick ass woman but everyone has a journey to tell and this is hers, from small vietnamese villages to sprawling exotic cities, as a young girl unaware of the world around her. She has two families, one by birth and one by adoption and they both manage to involve her in the politics and dangers of the world as it exists in the 19th century. Her story is heart breaking and tragic, the supernatural slowly weaves its web around her and before long it's too late and she will not get out.
I loved every second of this thrilling tale and would imagine that it would capture all those who like a strong character who can save herself and learn from the word around her. The supernatural is a slow build up, but once it arrives you feel as captured as Bian does! Highly recommended.
The book stands alone from Bite Back but complements it. Set in Saigon at the end of the 19th Century we learn a little of French Cochinchina and the societal restrictions placed on a young woman who spans both the local Annamese culture and the colonial ruling class. Bian gradually learns of the Athanate and eventually enters their world.
Over all, it is well worth a read. When you have, I'd recommend reading more about the Athanate in the Bite Back series.