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?
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