Book Reviews

Review: Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo

I have loved The Singing Hills Cycle novellas. Each one of them reinvigorates my love for oral storytelling and the power of telling our stories. Of seeing ourselves in these words and know they will outlast us. The power of a story and the framing, the perspective. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts of Into the Riverlands.


Wandering cleric Chih of the Singing Hills travels to the riverlands to record tales of the notorious near-immortal martial artists who haunt the region. On the road to Betony Docks, they fall in with a pair of young women far from home, and an older couple who are more than they seem. As Chih runs headlong into an ancient feud, they find themselves far more entangled in the history of the riverlands than they ever expected to be.

Accompanied by Almost Brilliant, a talking bird with an indelible memory, Chih confronts old legends and new dangers alike as they learn that every story—beautiful, ugly, kind, or cruel—bears more than one face.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

We love bards and a good underdog. The Singing Hills Cycle novellas make me so happy and I always look forward to the next installment. Yet again, Into the Riverlands and Vo explores the nature of stories. All the ways we can be the villain, the hero, the god. The different shades of light our lives can be refracted into. The way stories become real and lies become truths. This is a world of titles and conflicts and this latest release is full of action. We all have a story. And even a story version of the stories we know.

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So how do we know which story is true? Because there’s never just one version of the truth and even the layers in between can start to become real. Into the Riverlands celebrates oral story telling and how we can keep these stories alive. My favorite aspect of this series has to be the themes, but Into the Riverlands is full of action! It was easy to get swept away in their journey. If you’re a fan of this series, you have to read this latest installment, but if you’re also looking for a novella series that will thrill you and warm your heart – add these ones! Find Into the Riverlands on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite story within a story?

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