Book Review — Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China that Never Was (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox #1) by Barry Hughart

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, #1)Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was by Barry Hughart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun ride.

Delightful is the best way to put it. This is a true fantasy novel—almost insane at times with the level of fanciful world-building and maximum-level hyperbole.

You can tell Hughart is a true lover of stories, especially faerie tales and those sorts.

I wasn’t sure what to think the first few chapters, but you have to remember I came from a Wheel of Time marathon, which has a lot more description and slower pacing.

But I quickly fell in love with this fantastic adventure novel. It’s similar to The Hobbit in how it episodically jumps between wild encounters. The coincidences (you’ll know what I mean after you’ve read it) make this novel a real treat.

This book is full of hilarious quotes that you’ll have to read to understand and appreciate, but these ones stood out to be as particularly poignant:

“Don’t be afraid of reliving your childhood, Ox, because all of us must do it now and then in order to maintain our sanity.”

“Youth!” cried Master Li. “How sweet yet sadly swift pass the halcyon days of our innocence.”

If you like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy type humour, this one’s for you.

Bridge of Birds is a celebration of the English Language, and I encourage you to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in a coffeeshop, enjoying this rollicking tale.

Read with Sword and Laser for the February 2013 pick.

View all my reviews

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