Reviews tagging Self harm

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, by Nghi Vo

2 reviews

booksthatburn's review against another edition

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mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


This is great. Clih was the only returning character, and they had a more active role this time, both telling and receiving the story in a high-stakes cultural exchange/hostage scenario as they and they companions try to please three tigers until help can arrive. 

The tigers’ version of events was interjected at moments where it complemented (or occasionally contradicted) the version Clih knew. These moments are well-chosen, and serve to tell much about the tigers conveying them. The actual story is exciting, romantic, and poignant by turns, the pacing works well (even when interrupted by the tigers).

It as much to say about stories, who tells them, and whether telling them imperfectly is a price worth paying to preserve them. Clih begins with a story recorded, but recorded imperfectly, set against the tigers’ corrections and their demand for a perfectly told tale that will be Clih’s last. 

This is technically a sequel but can function as a stand-alone book. The main difference for anyone who reads them in order is that they'd already be familiar with the main character and their vocation, but these details are briefly conveyed early on without needing to reference any other text.

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sarah984's review

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funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I liked this book even better than the first one. Cleric Chih is waylaid by shapeshifting tigers while travelling and tells them a story to try and keep themself alive. The writing is beautiful and imaginative, the world-building is great and I loved the dark humour. The way the story differed depending on who was telling it was a factor I really enjoyed.

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