The Water Outlaws

English language

Published June 19, 2023 by

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4 stars (2 reviews)

In the jianghu, you break the law to make it your own.

Lin Chong is an expert arms instructor, training the Emperor's soldiers in sword and truncheon, battle axe and spear, lance and crossbow. Unlike bolder friends who flirt with challenging the unequal hierarchies and values of Imperial society, she believes in keeping her head down and doing her job.

Until a powerful man with a vendetta rips that carefully-built life away.

Disgraced, tattooed as a criminal, and on the run from an Imperial Marshall who will stop at nothing to see her dead, Lin Chong is recruited by the Bandits of Liangshan. Mountain outlaws on the margins of society, the Liangshan Bandits proclaim a belief in justice—for women, for the downtrodden, for progressive thinkers a corrupt Empire would imprison or destroy. They’re also murderers, thieves, smugglers, and cutthroats.

Apart, they love like demons and fight like tigers. Together, they …

1 edition

The Water Outlaws

4 stars

Content warning I don't have anything interesting to say without spoilers

The Water Outlaws, by S.L. Huang

5 stars

There are some stories that are just so good that, even centuries later, we still tell them. We still tell the stories of Achilles and Odysseus, Beowulf and Hamlet, Scheherazade and Mulan. Regretfully, I wasn’t familiar with the stories S.L. Huang retells in The Water Outlaws beyond knowing that the characters are gender-flipped retellings from the Chinese Classic Water Margin. Now that I’ve read this action-packed story of impossible odds, I hope Huang brings us more from China’s literary tradition. Gosh, it sounds so stuffy when I say it like that! I blame the fact that I work with academics and read their articles all the time. The Water Outlaws is the opposite of stuffy. It’s a wild ride full of supernatural martial arts, injustice, alchemy, friendship, and so much more...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this …