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This book seems to fall flat
on 5 March 2017
Master Li and Number Ten Ox are enlisted to investigate an incident where a monk was murdered for a worthless manuscript. The initial suspect is the Laughing Prince who infamously has a reputation for murder for his own gain. However, he has been dead for hundreds of years! Master Li and Number Ten Ox meet the Laughing Prince's descendent Prince Liu Pao, they explore the Laughing Prince's tomb, and take all kinds of eventful detours much like the first book.
The main characters aren't developed any further than they were in the first book. Years may have passed, but they seem to have remained unchanged. They are joined on their journey by two companions Moon Boy and Grief of Dawn. Moon Boy has some strange seductive powers, but is kept under control by Grief of Dawn.
The way the story develops is pretty similar to the first book in the series. A lot of events that happen seem like detours to lengthen the story, rather than being vital to the plot. I then found it hard to discern how certain events did link together, making any plot twists/revelations seem confusing. At the end of the book, Master Li reels off a long explanation of what he thought had happened but it feels like a disappointing way to conclude the book. Bridge of Birds' ending was much more exciting and emotional, but this book seems to fall flat.