This is another short story/novella type deal from Aliette de Bodard, which takes place in the same universe as The Tea Master and the Detective. It was also entirely enjoyable.
While set in the same universe, the feel of this story is different than The Tea Master and the Detective, more sentimental some how. At its core is another mystery, the disappearance of the Citadel of Weeping Pearls and the Empress’ daughter. But there’s also time travel and science and wonderful imagery.
I love the ceremonies and naming conventions, all pomp and ceremony for the imperial court, they are so beautiful and evocative. It add such a richness and such a mood to the story telling. The characters are still great in this one, especially the no-nonsense Suu Nuoc but also all the family drama between the Empress and her daughters.
Anyway, not much to say without spoiling the heck out of it. These are such fantastic stories and I’m looking forward to the next one.