Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Length: 288 pages
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Xian Li-lin series
Rating: 5/5 stars
“It’s the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes–the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and the death of her husband bring shame to Li-lin and her father–and shame is not something this immigrant family can afford.
When a sorcerer cripples her father, terrible plans are set in motion, and only Li-lin can stop them. To aid her are her martial arts and a peachwood sword, her burning paper talismans, and a wisecracking spirit in the form of a human eyeball tucked away in her pocket. Navigating the dangerous alleys and backrooms of a male-dominated Chinatown, Li-lin must confront evil spirits, gangsters, and soulstealers before the sorcerer’s ritual summons an ancient evil that could burn Chinatown to the ground.”
This is the first book in the Xian Li-lin series, at this point I am not sure when the next book in the series comes out (or if there will be one). I loved this urban fantasy style story and would love to read more books set in this world.
This story is set in end of 19th century San Francisco, mainly in Chinatown. I enjoyed the amazing world, background and the characters. There is a ton of Chinese history and culture in here and I loved learning about all the amazing supernatural aspects of Chinese history as well.
Xian is an interesting heroine with a unique perspective on things. She is a young widow who is desperate to salvage her family’s name after her husband’s death disgraced them. However, she still tries to be a dutiful daughter and support her father and Chinese traditions.
The topic of straddling two worlds; one of Ancient Chinese traditions and one of new American Ways added an interesting dynamic to the story. I also really enjoyed all the Chinese mythology and monsters throughout.
The story was very engaging and ended at a good place. I really enjoyed this story a ton and would love to see future stories featuring Xian Li-lin.
Overall an amazing read and one of the best urban fantasies I have read in a long time. I loved the setting and all the research that went into that. I also really enjoyed Xian Li-lin as a heroine, she was a very unique heroine. Additionally the late 1800’s San Fran setting was fun and interesting especially when paired with all the Chinese mythology. This book was very unique and very well done and I ended up loving it a lot.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Paranormal Reading Challenge
– YA Reading Challenge