Mammoths at the Gates
The Hugo and Crawford Award-Winning Series!
The wandering Cleric Chih returns home to the Singing Hills Abbey for the first time in almost three years, to be met with both joy and sorrow. Their mentor, Cleric Thien, has died, and rests among the archivists and storytellers of the storied abbey. But not everyone is prepared to leave them to their rest.
Because Cleric Thien was once the patriarch of Coh clan of Northern Bell Pass--and now their granddaughters have arrived on the backs of royal mammoths, demanding their grandfather’s body for burial. Chih must somehow balance honoring their mentor’s chosen life while keeping the sisters from the north from storming the gates and destroying the history the clerics have worked so hard to preserve.
But as Chih and their neixin Almost Brilliant navigate the looming crisis, Myriad Virtues, Cleric Thien’s own beloved hoopoe companion, grieves her loss as only a being with perfect memory can, and her sorrow may be more powerful than anyone could anticipate. . .
Nghi Vo was born in central Illinois, and she retains a healthy respect of and love for corn mazes, scarecrows, and fifty-year floods. These days, she lives on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is less a lake than an inland sea that she is sure is just biding its time. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, PodCastle, Lightspeed, and Fireside. Her short story, “Neither Witch nor Fairy” made the 2014 Otherwise (formerly Tiptree) Award Honor List. She is also the author of The Singing Hills Cycle, which begins with Empress of Salt and Fortune. Nghi mostly writes about food, death, and family, but sometimes detours into blood, love, and rhetoric. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.
Series contains 5 primary works and has 5 total works. Current series reading order on below.
The novellas of The Singing Hills Cycle are linked by the cleric Chih, but may be read in any order, with each story serving as an entrypoint.