Exquisite novella. It manages to create the rich, complex, and detailed world of the Chinese afterlife complete with demons, rampaging terracotta warriors, ghosts, and paper servants in precise and beautiful prose without ever distracting or overwhelming the core of the story: one Malaysian girl’s trapped existence as the wife of a lonely old man in the tenth court of hell. In such a setting, the story should be a horror story, or even a tragedy, but it’s a beautiful love story about finding connection, hope, and purpose even in the most unusual of circumstances. It ends too soon, but also at the right time, but I’m definitely going to be seeking out the other books by Zen Cho.
5-star quick review: The Terracotta Bride (Zen Cho)