Friday, May 9, 2014

The Litigation Master and the Monkey King, by Ken Liu

And now for something completely different.  Ken Liu usually writes pretty serious fiction.  That continues here, and The Litigation Master... is somewhat dark stuff.  Tian Haoli is a lawyer (songgun) in Manchu China. Law and the ability to argue at court was a pretty disrespected profession, but while today's lawyers can be wealthy, Tian is rather poor.  Probably because he helps the poor himself.  The Monkey King is a demon from that time that seems to talk to or appear to Tian.  That's the speculative part.  Helping the poor against the powerful is always a dangerous proposition, and that's no different here.

Liu likes to teach a bit in his fiction, and Tian is apparently based on a real character.  It's not a light read, but you will come away knowing more than before.  3 stars, because it's a bit more straight-up than his previous work.

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