Chang Geng’s life changes when barbarians attack the small northern border town where’s he’s grown up. He learns in quick succession that woman he thought was his mother is actually both his aunt and a spy for the barbarians who has poisoned him, he is in fact the Emperor’s missing fourth son, and his worthless lay about godfather is actually the leader of the most powerful military battalion. Chang Geng is quickly swept up the changing tides and trying to figure out what his future looks like now.
So, I read this book while in the middle of changing jobs and moving from one city to another. I enjoyed it a lot, but I remember the vibes of the book more than anything else. While Cheng Geng is the focal character for the story, Gu Yun, his godfather is as much of a main character in the story. The characters and their relationships were really the strongest part for me, though the worldbuilding was fantastic. There are fantastic machines that run on violet-gold which give it a very Steampunk feel, but their existence never really pulls you out of the historical setting The only drawback was I felt like I was missing a fair amount of detail and nuance because I’m not very familiar with Chinese history which was a huge element of the worldbuilding. There are hints at a romance, but this is definitely a slow burn. This is part one of the story, and I’m definitely going to have to reread it before I read part two when it comes out. Four out of five stars.
CBR15 Passport: Different Genres/Subgenres – Steampunk
CBR15 Bingo: Asia & Oceania – Translated from Chinese.