Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ghost Bride

Yangsze Choo's The Ghost Bride is certainly not the sort of book I normally read. Yes, it is essentially a historical fantasy, but it's labelled as simply fiction to appeal to a wider audience. This is a good thing, since it is the sort of book that is likely to be enjoyed by non-fantasy fans, but it's also a bad thing, since that means fantasy fans are less likely to be aware of it, and I think they'd enjoy it too. I know I did.

The Ghost Bride is the story of Li Lan, a young,  19th century Malaysian woman. Her father tells her that a wealthy family has expressed interest in having her marry their recently deceased son. Naturally, she doesn't want to do it, especially after she encounters the ghost of said son, and he proves to be annoyingly self-centered. Soon Li Lan is traveling through the world of the spirits, investigating corruption in the court of Hell (and the alleged murder of her would-be groom).

There is some good adventure. There's romance. There are demons and hungry ghosts. There's a good bit of Chinese folklore. It all makes for a very entertaining read.