Author: Tang Qi
Translator: Poppy Toland
Kindle edition 460 pages, first published 2009.
When the immortal Bai Qian finally meets her intended husband, the heir to the Sky Throne, she considers herself in luck—until an old enemy returns to threaten everything she holds dear…
When a mortal woman enters the immortal world to be with her true love, she sparks a jealousy that ends in tragedy…
And when a war god depletes his spiritual energy, his devoted student sustains his body with her own heart’s blood until the god’s scattered soul reassembles…
Spanning a thousand years of tangled lives, To the Sky Kingdom is a story of epic battles, passion, evil, and magic. In its journey across worlds and time, it delves into the powerful forces that drive mortals and gods alike toward revenge, loyalty—and love.
I voluntarily received a copy from Netgalley. This does not affect the contents of my review, or my opinion.
Truth be told, I’ve been trying to finish this book for months. Unfortunately, I’ve been stuck for a month now, and I’ve decided that I’m not going to finish this book. It is really hard to put this as a DNF, but I felt like this was just too much, and so I put it down at 33%. Since I didn’t finish the book I will not give a 1 out of 5 rating, just some of my thoughts (if I had any).
I was really looking forward to reading it last year, and so I started to read it. The start of it was quite interesting, but after a couple of chapters I felt lost. The story of Bai Qian is an interesting one, but it lost its appeal because it was lost underneath a too complicated story. There were several timelines, a lot of characters (main and minor characters who were all worth remembering because they appeared several times in the book), and I struggled with the writing itself and the language use.
Perhaps it would have been an easier read if I’d read the original, not the translation, but since I can’t speak/read/comprehend Chinese that was out of the question. Honestly, I really do think that it would be easier to read of one read the original because, let’s face it, that’s often the case. I’ve read several books in English and Dutch, and I found the Dutch translation often unbearable because it felt wrong at times.
I do want to elaborate a little more on the use of language and the writing in this book.
Though I read several review mentioning a feeling of disconnection with a character when the writer, for example, refers to a character as seventh apprentice, I didn’t have that much trouble with it. It felt a little strange, but I can understand that that is a way to make a character less important in the book. Personally, I had more trouble with Little Dumpling talking about himself in the third person… I really struggled with that.
Then there was the constant change between the several time lines. This happened so often that I started to lose track of what happened where and to whom.
This being said I want to stress that this book can be worth reading, especially when it’s your ‘thing’. Just because I struggled to get through it, doesn’t mean that this applies to most people (I’ve seen some really positive reviews about this book on Goodreads).
If you like a fantasy novel based on traditional Chinese storytelling and folklore, you will probably really like this book.
Maybe I will try to read this book again in the future, but for now I’m going to mark it as DNF.
Have you read this book? Of so, did you read it in English or the Original? And most importantly; what did you think? Do let me know in the comment section below!