Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Joss Tomeful Tuesday

Lovely cover art by Rowena Morrill

After my good trip to Hole in the Wall Books, I started The Devil Wives of Li Fong (1979) by E. Hoffman Price, one of the pulp writers, who later in life combined his fictioneering skills with his study of Chinese religion and culture (he became known as Tao Fa in San Francisco's Chinatown) to produce this fun novel based on the Legend of the White Snake.  I finished Devil Wives this morning, and it exceeded my already good expectations. Magic, strong female characters, action, religious reflection, and intrigue are served up in this Szechuan hotpot.  I think this is worth a chance even if you are not particularly into Asian fantasy, and a necessary part of any Asian fantasy lover's collection.  While it's not perfectly written and perhaps a little predictable, overall it earns high marks and does a good job of conveying the fantasy reader into the ancient Chinese imagination.  I found it a quick and entertaining read as well.
Grade: A-

Travel Map for The Devil Wives of Li Fong

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  1. While I've heard of Price I wasn't aware of this novel. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I had already gotten the second novel Price did in this vein, Jade Enchantress, though I'm not sure when I'll get around to it. When I do, I will blog it, rest assured. Also, I've added a travel map above to show the geographic movement in the story from Mount Emei to Hangzhou to Suzhou.

  3. Hadn't heard of these books. Might be hard for me to find them in Korea, but thanks for letting me know about them. They're definitely right up my alley.