Thorn of the Night Blossoms by JC Kang
Thorn of the Night Blossoms is a fast-paced, exciting novella, part of JC Kang’s Legends of Tivara.
The story revolves around Jie, a half-elf, and her companion Lilian, who live in the Floating World. There, they are part of a house of courtesans, where most women earn their keep by offering their bodies to men. Jie, however, is yet to be “deflowered,” but she is busy enough with her other trade – as a spy and assassin of the Black Lotus Clan.
As things unfold, Jie finds herself the target of an assassination attempt, and she begins to investigate who might be behind it. And before this novella ends, there is a wicked, well-executed twist. This is an entertaining read, with just the right amount of description to paint the picture of a fabulous Asian-inspired universe, with colours, scents, and sounds included, and it is absolutely gorgeous. The only thing I struggled with a bit was the number of terms thrown at you early on, so I found it a little challenging to keep up initially.
But all in all, a great little read, with plenty of worldbuilding, depth of character, and blood-pumping action!