Two Mini Fantasy Novella Reviews

Because I’m feeling entirely too lazy to post a long review for each, here are two mini reviews on two novellas!

There are a couple things that unite these stories: queer main characters and the idea of history subverted and shaped by the teller.

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo


Cleric Chih is traveling with a mammoth and its rider when their group is beset upon by a fearsome trio of tigresses! Chih decides to tell the tigers a story of a tiger and her human lover, in hopes to buy time before a rescue and to avoid being eaten.

The story picks up again and this time focuses on tiger queens, woolly mammoths and how your life’s desire might not be your life’s desire as sometimes your purposes and priorities can shift.

It’s full of queer people, women loving women, and how different versions of a story can hold truths, depending on who is telling the story (and what their motives are). I adored the tigers (and the tiger queen in the story, who kept wooing her completely oblivious suitor), who were all ridiculous, regal and scary at the same time.

I loved it, but I definitely needed just ten more pages!

Some people are just more…edible than others if you are a tiger.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire


There’s no right way to be a girl.

Regan is horse-crazy, which is acceptable form of girlishness in her tight circle of friends, particularly with her best friend, who places everything in a neat box of girl or not-girl-enough. Regan wants to be girl enough, but some days she just doesn’t understand. And when she doesn’t develop like the other girls, her parents drop a huge secret on her—a secret that escapes to her friends. So Regan slips into the woods to take the long way home, and finds a door…

I really really loved this novella, which was about a girl who was destined to be The Chosen One because all humans are Chosen in some way, and who had a queen hunting for her because change was bad and humans brought change. Which is a horrible way to describe this book, so I’ll give you another horrible explanation: a girl who discovered she was intersex after living in rigid gender conformity, and then found herself a species of one surrounded by hoofed creatures.

It’s a delightful found family story that covers growing up, conformity, being yourself, and what it means to be a girl. Plus it has delightful side characters (Chicory!! Gristle!!), and a delicious twist on the chosen one trope and the concept of history and propaganda and government.

I need MORE of this story. MORE, DAMMIT! I need to know what happens to Regan, and I need more Gristle, dammit.

Minus one star because of the short ending and because the villain’s was Laurel (dammit, the one time I share a name with a character and she’s a baddie).

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

2 thoughts on “Two Mini Fantasy Novella Reviews

  1. Great reviews! I really want to read both of these, although I think In should read The Empress of Salt and Fortune first!


    Liked by 1 person

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