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The Tale of Yin Read Along {Week 1}

The Tale of Yin by Joyce ChngThe Tale of Yin Read Along!

Hey everyone, it’s time for another read along :D. This week we’re starting The Tale of Yin by Joyce Chng. It’s a collection of novellas described as “A feminist YA novella, the Tale of Yin looks at magic, privilege, the landscape and compassion.” So obviously I was game and wow I’m amazed. If that description sounds like your jam you absolutely need to get this collection, the first 29% is beautiful!

There will be spoilers below for the first book, “Oysters, Pearls & Magic,” that we’re discussing this week :D.

1. Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic is a quiet piece, quite unlike what we might be used to reading. What did you make of the change in pace?

I must admit that I’ve been reading more of this style lately because I freaking love it, haha. I don’t know if I could read a novel-length piece with this tone, but it makes for a wonderful novella experience. This is one of the reasons I’ve been reading more short fiction lately too, since you don’t find this tone in longer fiction most of the time.

2. Magic systems are always one of the most fascinating things to discuss. What did you think of the book’s shape-based system? Does it remind you of anything or is it entirely new?

I love the shapes! I thought it was interesting that the magic is element-based like a lot of magic systems, but the shapes being unique signatures of an individual’s region of origin is awesome. I hope we get to find out more about this. It does remind me a bit of Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris since they draw shapes of light in the air to make magic as well, though it is executed a bit differently.

3. Oysters are obviously important to Mirra. Do you think you’ll be trying any of the recipes in the book?

I’ve tried oysters before and I just CANNOT DO IT! I didn’t grow up eating seafood, so I’m proud of my new love of fish and that will probably be as much as I manage, ha. My husband loves all seafood though, so maybe he’ll try the recipes some day!

4. The description of the duology suggests that these novellas are ones of compassion. How do you feel that relates to Mirra?

This question brought to mind Mirra’s Second Father immediately and the fact that she saves his life despite how he has treated her. Also that she chooses to go back to her village and reestablish her relationship with her mother and grandmother despite the village not accepting her magic.

How did you like the first book?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I must admit that I’ve been reading more of this style lately because I freaking love it, haha

    Ooooooooh… You have more books like this one you could recommend? *makes the pleady eyes* Any you’d want people to drop everything for and read them right now?

    This question brought to mind Mirra’s Second Father immediately

    I admit, he was very much at the forefront of my mind when I wrote the question. He’s a very obvious answer to give here, but it’s also things like going back to her village later on and… Well, forgiving herself. It’s such a quiet narrative, but that moment when she lights the candle for Second Father and comments on her feelings… That was so powerful for me. And the return home and the way things had changed. I loved that she went to the oysters. The ocean’s been so important to her all her life.

    • Haha, a lot of the novellas have this feel to them, Of Sorrow and Such comes to mind immediately. I’ll keep my eyes out for more for you :)

      I always take the easy answer first ;-). Yeah, I really loved that ending where everything comes full circle nicely.

  2. Heh, we’re agreed on seafood! It is not my thing, beyond fish and chips… But I’m also loving this story and its pacing. So sweet and relaxing. It’s just what I need right now. :D
    Lisa (@EffingRainbow) recently posted…[Read Along] The Tale of Yin, Part 1My Profile

    • I just didn’t grow up with it at all ya know? My husband should be proud he’s gotten me to eat as much fish as he has!

  3. I’m so with you on oysters. My one and only experience with them ended with a bad case of food poisoning – I shouldn’t hold that against ALL oysters I suppose, but as I hadn’t really enjoyed them in the first place, it pretty much set the seal on me ever trying them again… although the fritters sounded lovely. Maybe I could make the fritters with scallops? Mmmm, scallops.

    I’ve loved this first week. I take your point about whether the tone would work over a full-length book – but I’d be willing to give one a go :)
    imyril recently posted…Read-along: Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic #1My Profile

    • Haha, anything frittered sounds awesome! Ugh scallops too, I really can’t stand the taste of truffles and my husband made me try a scallop that was in truffle sauce without warning me. Between the texture and the sauce I nearly spit it out haha.

      I definitely would too, just would have to pace myself I think!

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