Thoughts : Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Finally getting some posts up! Look at me!

I’m going with the trend on this one – but if you love short fantasy this is a definite recommendation for me. Click through to see some thoughts.


The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Source: Purchase via Kindle
TL;DR: Loved it, highly recommend as a short format fantasy


  • I will go ahead and say I’ve seen this pitched as a queer story and while there is definitely a queer relationship in there it is definitely not the focus of the story. There is casual acceptance and talk of queer relationships and our main character uses the pronoun ‘they’, which may have more to do with their rank than their choice (it’s not clear). But there is no strong ‘romance’ in there as some tried to spin it.
  • This is a longer novella, 110 pages, but it doesn’t feel long. It feels short, almost too short because I didn’t want it to end. The story is told through a present tense and flashback style, the flashbacks taking on a first person narrative as they are relayed to us as the listener. This worked really well for me, but I know for some readers who don’t like flashbacks this could be annoying. But this helped to make the pacing on this story seem quick and the story shorter. 
  • We don’t see much as far as character development, the story is more about the events that transpired in the history of this world than about the characters within it. For me though the world and what was happening was far more interesting, a credit to the author in my book.  

    Ultimately I can’t say a lot without giving the plot or key points away but I recommend this. For me it hit that sweet spot a novella should. However, if you’re in a story for character development and relationships this may not satisfy. The strengths of the story and world outweigh that in my mind, but to each his own!

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