|Lovely cover art by Rowena Morrill|
After my good fú 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.
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