Book Cover
Title The Long Way
Author Michael Corbin Ray and Therese Vannier
Cover Art ---
Publisher Baaa! Press - 2013
First Printing Baaa! Press - 2013
Book Cover
Title ---
Author ---
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Category Fantasy
Warnings None
Main Characters Leung Chi-Yen, Sin-Feng, Liu Kun, Basil Malvenue
Main Elements Dragons
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Click to read the summaryThe Long Way

There was something about this book that just drew me in right from the start. Leung Chi-Yen is a young girl working in the Canton brothels. But she has a spark of independence, a desire to get away from the life in which she was trapped at no fault of her own. While depressing to read about the treatment of women as property, both in China and later in the US, she would have none of it. But most fascinating is her connection to the dragon.

I was concerned at first that the dragon might turn out to be metaphorical but it was flesh and blood and utterly unlike most dragons I've read about. I kept having visions of Haku, the dragon from Spirited Away (though this dragon is quite different), but it gives you the visual of its perpetually undulating form, its deep and ancient wisdom while at the same time seeming little more than a simple beast. It is not a human mind in dragon shape, it is truly something other, something magical and nearly divine and not to be understood by mere mortals such as us.

And the plot has so many unexpected twists in turns that I could in no way predict what would happen next. And even while there are long stretches where it seems nothing much happens, you are drawn into those chapters as much as you are into the ones where all the action is. And the ending, completely not what I had expected. While the book could easily stand alone, leaving what happens next to the imagination of the reader, I'm glad to see that the authors plan on making a it a series. I would very much like to return to this world and learn more about the seven dragons that inhabit it.

I think the complaint I had was the name of the villain, Malvenue...I basically had the same reaction to the Malfoys in Harry Potter. Maybe it sounds exotic to non French speakers but calling your villain literally "unwelcome" (or in the case of HP, "bad faith") is a bit...well...cheesy. We already know he's the villain, we don't need him to have a blatantly villainous name too.

Posted: December 2013


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