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Yangsze Choo Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Ghost Bride (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Night Tiger (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Yangsze Choo is a Malaysian author of fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy books. Her adventures in different countries as a child have enabled her to learn how to communicate in different languages. After graduating from Harvard University, she took various corporate jobs before she began writing. She loves reading and eating, and she can do both at the same time. She stays in California with her family and some chickens.

The Ghost Bride, her debut novel is set in Malaya and the Chinese world narrating about the historical custom of spirit marriage and was published in 2013. The book has won Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult literature Best Book nominee in 2014.

The Ghost Bride

Li Lan a motherless maiden whose father is an opium addict, and a bankrupt has been an offer from the Lim family for her daughter to be the bride to their deceased son. Her family was once very respectable before her mother passed on. The Lim family wants her to be the ghost bride for their late son Lim Tian Ching. Li Lan father pressurizes her into the decision, but since that he loves her daughter he respects her decision since he reminds her of his beloved wife who died a long time ago. Her father is in a lot of debts that’s why he is for the idea for her daughter to get married to that rich family. She at first denies it, but soon she starts being haunted and harassed by his bridegroom to be in a dream to become his wife.

Li Lan is invited to the Lim’s home for a party which accepts to attend and loves the lifestyle there. As she wanders around the mansion, she meets handsome Tian Bai, his bridegroom’s cousin and the heir to be. She falls in love with him, but unfortunately, she can never have him. That night she starts dreaming when Liam Tian begins courting her in the world of the dead. Due to the persistence of the dreams Amah takes her to a Medium who gives her a mixture of powders which she is to mix with water and drink it before sleeping.

The medicine only gives a short term relief from the dreams, and one night she starts dreaming again that Liam Tian comes to her and informs her that Tian Bai is his killer. Li Lan is frightened and wakes up to the other bad news that Tiam Bai is getting married. She decides to take another amount of the powder mixture to assist her to get some sleep, and she ends up drinking an overdose which sends her to coma. The dead and troublesome man haunts her most of the time and comes in the form of a bumbling figure every night. He torments her to the extent that her spirit disappeared and turned into a shadow like a living ghost. She is forced into the ghostly underworld, and she has to solve several mysteries and make alliances for her to return to the living world. She gets into to the Chinese afterlife, where there are deceased ancestors, full of ghost cities, hungry demons and ghosts, vengeful spirits, magic, and paper funeral offerings.

While in that world she meets Er Lan, an official who is her guardian spirit and she discovers that there is more to death that she has ever thought of. He is secretive and delightful and uses different facets. She has to unveil the dark secrets in Lim’s family as she learns about her family’s history and ancestors…

Though the story has a lot of historical context in its settings, the characters think act and respond in a modern way. Much of the story takes place in the supernatural world which is full of mystery. The book is beautifully written with a wonderful atmosphere and interesting characters which makes it vividly absorbing and satisfying. The author mostly focuses on giving us more information about the culture of the setting. The story is narrated at Li Lan’s point of view.

The Night Tigers

Ren, an 11-year-old boy, is a house boy, and his master dies and leaves a request that Ren has to look for his finger that got lost years back when he got an accident. He has 49 days to find the finger failure to which his master’s spirit will not be at rest and will roam all over forever. Ren begins a mission to look for the finger so that he can bury it together with his former master’s other body to fulfill his dying wish.

Ji Lin is a young lady working as a trainee to a dressmaker. She is knowledgeable and has a dream of studying medicine in the future but now that she a female she must do what her father dictates at that time. As she continues to learn dressmaking, she secretly works as a dancehall girl at May Flower dancehall so that she can pay her mother’s debts since the dressmaking did not pay enough money. One night she happens to dance with a man who in the middle of the dance he asks her name and Lin forgets and tells him her real names. The man takes out a small container from his pockets with a dried finger inside it and gives it to her. Lin is shocked starts finding out why the man had it in his pockets and where he took it from.

As time passes for Ren to complete his mission, a number of deaths occur, and some rumors start about a night tiger, and they find out that it is a man who has the ability of turn into a tiger. Ren believes the myth and tries to track his master’s lost finger using his “cat sense” which guides him to Ji Lin, and he crosses paths she tries to unravel the mystery of the finger.

The author uses history, folklore, Chinese superstitions and mysticism to make the book charming. The story covers the themes of culture, masters and servants, love and the dead. Yangsze Choo uses the imaginary world of spirits and ghosts to bring the reader in the world of fantasy.

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