The Brides of High Hill (The Singing Hills Cycle #5) (Hardcover)

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The Brides of High Hill (The Singing Hills Cycle #5) By Nghi Vo Cover Image
By Nghi Vo
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Staff Reviews

A delightfully gruesome murder mystery featuring everyone's favorite travelling cleric. Between the moldering gothic mansion setting and the intricately layered half-truths, this story
truly has monsters in every corner. The tone here was darker than the rest of the series, the tension more palpable, but it works wonderfully. A book to be devoured in one sitting.

— From Kit


Nghi Vo's Hugo Award-winning Singing Hills Cycle returns with a standalone gothic mystery that unfolds in the empire of Ahn.

"A remarkable accomplishment of storytelling."—NPR on The Empress of Salt and Fortune

"Nghi Vo is one of the most original writers we have today."—Taylor Jenkins Reid on Siren Queen

The Cleric Chih accompanies a beautiful young bride to her wedding to the aging ruler of a crumbling estate situated at the crossroads of dead empires. The bride's party is welcomed with elaborate courtesies and extravagant banquets, but between the frightened servants and the cryptic warnings of the lord's mad son, they quickly realize that something is haunting the shadowed halls.

As Chih and the bride-to-be explore empty rooms and desolate courtyards, they are drawn into the mystery of what became of Lord Guo's previous wives and the dark history of Do Cao itself. But as the wedding night draws to its close, Chih will learn at their peril that not all monsters are to be found in the shadows; some monsters hide in plain sight.

The Singing Hills Cycle has been shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award, the Locus Award, and the Ignyte Award, and has won the Crawford Award and the Hugo Award.

The novellas are standalone stories linked by the Cleric Chih, and may be read in any order.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain
Into the Riverlands
Mammoths at the Gates
The Brides of High Hill

About the Author

Nghi Vo is the author of the novels Siren Queen and The Chosen and the Beautiful, as well as the acclaimed novellas of the Singing Hills Cycle, which began with The Empress of Salt and Fortune. The series entries have been finalists for the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the Lambda Literary Award, and have won the Crawford Award, the Ignyte Award, and the Hugo Award. Born in Illinois, she now lives on the shores of Lake Michigan. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.

Praise For…

"A highly recommended entry in Vo’s series, one where the familiar erupts in surprise, a shower of blood, and all the horrors of Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth, leaving Chih with yet another fascinating tale to tell."—Library Journal (starred review)

"The fifth book in the series might be the best entry since the first (The Empress of Salt and Fortune, 2020)—proof that Vo will continue to surprise and delight readers. It’s the perfect time for fans of Asian-inspired fantasy and poetic sf/fantasy of all kinds to get into Vo’s popular novella series."—Booklist (starred review)

"Vo creates a haunted house where nothing is as it appears, unraveling magical threads at a spellbinding pace. . . . This eerie and intricate entry keeps the series going strong."—Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Singing Hills Cycle

"A delicious bonbon of a novella about stories and their unreliable narrators, who wink at their listeners (or readers), fully expecting us to catch on."—The Wall Street Journal

"Dangerous, subtle, unexpected and familiar, angry and ferocious and hopeful. . . . A remarkable accomplishment of storytelling."—NPR

"Spellbinding. . . . Vo expertly weaves myths and histories of this fantastical land throughout, while also offering readers a deeper understanding of Chih themself, a character who may have been left as a framing device in lesser hands. The result is a pitch-perfect series installment."—Publishers Weekly, (starred review)

"Rides the knife edge between telling a story and being in the middle of it and explores how tales become legends. . . . Highly recommended for . . . anyone who likes high fantasy inspired by Imperial China or wuxia movies and stories."—Library Journal (starred review)

"Vo's debut has it all: from sapphic love to cruel betrayals; from political intrigue to lakes that glow red to ghosts that continue to walk old paths."—Booklist, starred review

"A stunning feminist fantasy."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Gorgeous. Cruel. Perfect."—Seanan McGuire

"So good I want to marry it."—Martha Wells

"A quiet, wrenching tale of resistance, resilience, and court intrigue."—R. F. Kuang

“A stunning gem . . . celebrates the wonder of queer love. I could read about Chih recording tales forever.”—Samantha Shannon

"A glorious, beautifully-written tale that is both tragic and triumphant, unfolding a secret history through the ordinary artifacts of everyday life."—Kate Elliott

"An epic in miniature, beautifully realised."—Zen Cho

"At once epic and intimate, this story of revenge, power and the weight of history is a small, masterful jewel."—Aliette de Bodard

"Resides in the intimate margins of its (beautifully imagined) world's history, portraying how the marginalized may yet shape those narratives and harness the power of stories."—Indra Das

“Uncovers a nuanced history of how the disenfranchised shape history, and can come to rule it, though at great cost."—Buzzfeed

"Both tear-jerking and gut-punching."—The Washington Post

"A thrilling, wuxia-style addition to the series."—BuzzFeed News

"With its themes of friendship, loyalty, continuity, and loss, [Mammoths at the Gates's] main strengths derive from an appealing cast of characters, some of whom, like Chih, have grown more complex over the four volumes of the series. . . . Adds considerable emotional resonance to an already impressive series."—Locus

"A masterpiece of understatement and implication. . . it gives the impression of effortlessness while being quietly meticulous in every stitch."—Nerd Daily

"[A] gorgeous debut novella."—Paste

"Rich details and emotional prose captures readers from the first page of this imaginative and powerful novella. "—Library Journal

“Those familiar with the Singing Hills Cycle know by now to expect marvelous little novellas like perfectly cut jewels, dense with facets and brilliance. Into the Riverlands, Nghi Vo’s third installment, is of course no different….buy this book, because you’ll want to revisit these particular stories again and again.”—Geekly, Inc

"The novella is written in Vo’s rich, lovely language, and it’s nice to have such a wonderful fantasy series be totally accessible in standalone volumes. . . . Fans of folklore-inspired fantasy will eat this one up."—Booklist

“Continues the magical, mythical and memorable adventures of Chih . . . . The series . . . can be read in any order—and you don’t want to miss them!”—Ms. Magazine

“This is a beautiful, cozy, fantasy tale. . . . gentle, soothing, whimsical, feminist.”—Fantasy Book Critic

“Novelist Nghi Vo has a fantastic gift for creating sweeping epics that weave together history and myth.”—Arlington Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250851444
ISBN-10: 1250851440
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 128
Language: English
Series: The Singing Hills Cycle