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Friday, May 26, 2017

Soundless - Richelle Mead

Because her people are deaf, Fei's village communicates solely by handsigns and written word. Although their histories say it was not always like this, nobody can remember a time when this wasn't so.

Isolated from all other trade due to their location, their consumption is restricted by the line keeper who sends goods and food in exchange for mined goods. When the mines begin drying up they're barely able to feed their people and to make matters worse, people are losing their sight.

Fei and Li Wei leave on a difficult journey determined to speak to those in charge and change how things are done and save their people.

Although Fei is aware of the hardships of the other villagers because she records them, she does not experience them because of her position and social status. When she leaves the village with Li Wei she finds herself on equal footing. With their social statuses no longer keeping them apart, their relationship is allowed to blossom in a romantic way. For me this was a nice change from Mead's normally lustful relationships in her stories.

Unable to communicate with outsiders when they get there, Fei and Li Wei must use creative thinking to get themselves out of trouble. They find allies in unusual places. While Li Wei accuses Fei's talents with the brush to be useless compared to the brute strength he used to get them out, her skills even find use in the outside world.

I loved this story all the way until the climax, which essentially amounted to "suddenly! magical beings save them".

In the summary it says it's inspired by Chinese folklore, but the author herself doesn't say what tale and nobody can seem to figure out what story served as inspiration. This is disappointing for me because I always like to go back and read the original tale when possible.

While this is not a read again type book, I would recommend it for the shear creativity Mead shows throughout this novel.

More by the Author:
Vampire Academy
The Glittering Court

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