|As noted here, I’m commenting daily on the WMG Holiday Spectacular—which is a great project that releases a story every day. These might be reviews. Or not. They might be interesting. Or … um … not. They will be fun, though. For me, at least.
Here’s the next story.
“Winter Solstice and the Last Huli Jing”
Well, here’s a little treasure—both for its spareness (it’s quite short—maybe a 5-minute read) and it’s quality. That it introduced me to a cultural tradition I wasn’t aware of and a writer I hadn’t read is just icing on the tangyuan.
The introduction suggests the original title might have been “Dongzhi and the Last Huli Jing,” which I admit I like simply because it feels better in context of the story’s overall setting, but who am I to quibble? Dongzhi is an Asian solstice tradition so it all works in the end, but I note that part of why I was into the story so quickly was that I felt the (fresh to me) mythology behind the story straight out of the gate, and since I am such a blank slate when it comes to this cultural shift I enjoyed the discovery inherent in the reading.
Regardless, the more intriguing element of the story is the Huli Jing. My daughter had written a story touching on Huli Jing mythology so the idea wasn’t completely out of the blue. I loved jumping into so much I had to go look up more. I think it’s testimony to Julia Vee’s ability to parse information into such a brief structure that an unexperienced person like me can follow it and enjoy it as I read it fresh, then feel it deepen as I read more details about the Huli Jing.
So, yeah. I definitely enjoyed it. Highly recommended.