Title: Black Scales, White Fur
Author: Kylie Chan
Series: Dark Heavens #9.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Demons, Mythology
Publisher: Kylie Chan
5th sentence, 74th page: She broke off the kiss and smiled up at him through stinging tears of joy.
The Demon King’s harem is a dangerous place, with the Snake Mothers constantly battling for prizes and promotion. But the smallest Snake Mother doesn’t want to play the cruel games; she just wants to create beautiful works of art. After a chance meeting with the Celestial Emperor of the West, the White Tiger, she quietly plots to escape Hell and find freedom – and perhaps even love.
I didn’t realise that this novella fits towards the end of the Dark Heavens series, I actually thought it sat in beforehand, a bit like Small Shen. But, there is a small mention of Simone as a woman, so I figure it is much later in the overall series. That’s not to say that it really gave anything away, there is a small mention of Emma and John going out for Yum Cha with Simone, but that is the only hint of the future. And to be completely honest, you know that eventually they will get their happily ever after… Chan has just put them through too much to not give them that. Or me. I need that. I haven’t even finished the series. And I know that I need that happily ever after…
Bai Hu’s harem of wives and women is something that is both interesting, and a little concerning to me throughout the rest of the Dark Heavens books. So it was interesting to read a story about a woman (of a sort) that falls for him and is willing to become one of many. Honestly, I understand Emma’s one and only feelings a lot more, even if it means she can’t touch her one and only… But the sweetness of the main character in this, and the way in which Bai Hu is able to completely change her life makes the fact that this does happen make a little more sense to me. The fact that she hangs on to her free will, no matter what the risks also made me love her a little more. After all, falling in love and being swept away by your emotions doesn’t mean that you have to lose your will power and independence.
I really liked this look into Chan’s demonic world. It gave a completely different perspective into a reality that I am already in love with. The fitting of a mythological world on top of our own works beautifully. Actually, this is one of the best ways in which I’ve seen an author do this, and switching from the Celestial, and our world to the Underworld in this novella was a great change of pace. And it still worked fantastically. It made a lot of sense, and the brief appearances of known Celestial characters against he horror of this small Snake Mothers’ real world help to give even more layers which has made me pick up White Tiger again and just devour it.
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