I love to come across a fantasy that is based on folklore or myth that I haven't seen done before. This one fulfills that, and the bonus is that I'veI love to come across a fantasy that is based on folklore or myth that I haven't seen done before. This one fulfills that, and the bonus is that I've not come across this folk tale before. The author tells us this is very much part of the culture in China. It would be like Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White is for us Westerners. I could see retelling this tale for my Dharma School kids, drawing upon the idea that love could inspire a creature to rise to a higher level of being.
Other reviewers did not like the characters and thus not the story, but I got the feeling their behaviors were meant to be true to the original folktale. I appreciated the archetype of a somewhat innocent young man being drawn inexorably to another being, and through his care, inspiring that being to find him even hundreds of years later. I also liked the idea that his rebirth would carry the attraction over, but not the memories. I also like that in their first encounter, he is the savior to the snake, and in the present day encounter, she is the wise one who finds him and saves him, but the story is more complex, with adversaries and obstacles between them.
The author told this tale competently with dialog and action. If it lacked, it was in description, and a filling out of the characters to make them seem less archetypal. However, I felt the style worked, and perhaps those elements would have been distracting from the tale.