Set in San Francisco during the Gold Rush era, Ji Yuan, a Chinese youth who immigrated to America with his brother to seek his fortune but has found only disappointment. Now, his brother lays sick, dying, and Yuan must seek the help of two local spirits. But being tricksters, nothing these spirits tells the youth is ever the whole truth. To save his brother, Yuan was uncover the means to return their servant, a hatchet-man, from jail... dead or alive.
Ji Yuan, desperate to help his dying brother and only relative, goes to a pair of spirits rumored to help out mortals. But the spirits are motivated by the urge to meddle in the lives of people asking for help and wager on the impossible choices that doom the mortal caught in their trap.
As Ji Yuan tries to accomplish the task that will save his brother he is drawn into the lives of other mortals who are also entrapped in the machinations of the spirits. The story follows Ji Yuan as he finds a way to untangle the trap and save his brother without dooming his own future to misfortune and bad karma.
The story is well written, and the characters interesting. The story is set in San Francisco during the gold rush period, providing a glimpse into the experience of the Chinese trying to get by in a foreign and hostile land.
The narrator does a good job of handling Western and Chinese accents, which makes it a pleasure to listen to.
I found this gem by going to the very end of Audibles list of fantasy titles, proving it is worth the effort to ignore the 'popular' titles that Audible constantly and remorsely 'recommends'.
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