Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mid 80's Silkpunk adventure, in tight with the World Fantasy Award, and very much a kung fu mystery/heist/fantasy.
In other words, if I had been reading this during my 80's fascination with badly dubbed kung fu movies, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and my still-unrealized love of Chinese fables, I probably would have gone nuts over this.
As of now, and reading this late in my reading career, I'm stuck comparing it to Guy Gavriel Kay's cool alternate Chinese histories or even Kim Stanley Robinson's explorations into historical otherness, and still, Barry Hughart's writing is still quite fun.
It is, however, all adventure. First for trying to save all these children from a mysterious disease -- to a huge deal about Ginsing -- immortality -- and ancestors. And to be fair, all of that was quite fun.
I wouldn't say it was deep, per se, but it was definitely fun and knowing what I know about the fantasy of the mid-80s, it would have been quite unique... assuming you weren't also reading/watching anime. Like Dragon Ball. :)
But hey, there is one very positive thing I can say about this: If you're craving SilkPunk, definitely pick this classic up. :)
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