The Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo: Riveting Monsters

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 Doi 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 Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo is full of riveting monsters and diverse characters. I really connected to the nonbinary cleric Chih and loved that the nonbinary pronouns were consistently used throughout the story. While Chih’s gender is not critical to the story, as someone who is nonbinary, I love having a story with a character that reflects my own nature. 

I love how powerful the narrative is as Chih tries to help her bride and the cursed son and the impact when she realizes the monsters are not at all what or who they expect. The gut punch of that discovery is emotional, the story is intriguing, and I love the way stories are so critical to the novel and the ultimate resolution of the story. 

If you love stories about riveting monsters, stories that illustrate different viewpoints, and nonbinary characters, you will love this story by Nghi Vo. The narrative is excellent, the characters are compelling, and the monsters will make you jump especially on dark nights. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 furs

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