I am the daughter of a retired soldier and understand that the places that seem exotic to one person are just home to someone else. I try to bring this sense of visiting a friend from another culture to all of my time travel adventures.
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Smashwords book reviews by Jennifer Moreland
- The Battle of Chibi
on June 24, 2013
I love that this book is so welcoming to those of us with limited knowledge of Chinese history -- the "Note About Reading This Book" that starts the book is a graceful, opening door that draws all readers in, and I thought that was well done.
Of course, that would be wasted if the rest of the book weren't top-notch -- but The Battle of Chibi reads like the very best combination of old world fairy tales and historical adventure stories. Anyone who remembers reading a Brothers Grimm collection knows that those tales were not the fluff conjured by the worlds "fairy tale" -- they were searing adventure stories and moralistic fables told in language that got straight to the action. The Battle of Chibi does the same, planting the reader firmly in the story but creating a sense of formal otherworldliness with careful use of words and pacing.
In places, the different pieces of the work read almost like a screenplay, with conversational back-and-forth introduced with a name and a colon. In another work this might bother me, but it fit here. We are seeing action as it unfolds, and the quick exposition helped me feel the urgency.
I would recommend this work to any student of history -- Chinese or not -- but also to anyone who loves a good tactical fairy tale (I assuire you there is such a thing). Hock Tjoa brings history to life in The Battle fo Chibi.
- Pocket-sized Yarns
on June 15, 2015
Note: I received a copy of this book as part of a review group in exchange for an honest opinion.
First off, it's hard to review a collection like this. So many little slices of story to savor. I found it to be nicely varied in style and subject matter. The fact that these were very, very short stories meant they had to draw the reader in quickly, but sometimes it felt like we were escorted out again a bit fast. All in all, an enjoyable collection of reads. I liked some, loved others -- exactly as a collection should be. I can't think of one I just didn't enjoy.
I really wish I'd been a part of this, and as an author, that's the highest praise I can offer. Can't wait to read the next collection.