When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain

The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.

Nghi Vo returns to the empire of Ahn and The Singing Hills Cycle in When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, a mesmerizing, lush standalone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune.

A Locus and Igynte Award Finalist, and Crawford and Hugo Award-Winning Series!

“A remarkable accomplishment of storytelling.”—NPR on The Empress of Salt and Fortune


“You don’t have to read Nghi Vo’s debut in order to follow this second short novel, but you’ll want to! Feminist, layered and queer AF, Nghi Vo’s storytelling will mesmerize you. You should probably just read them both.” —Ms. Magazine

As a piece of fantasy literature, Vo’s worldbuilding is a command performance… We are in a golden age of the novella, and Vo knows how to make the most of the form, with short, propelling chapters and potent ideas. The world is scaffolded off real history and folk traditions but feels fresh and interesting, and Vo once again succeeds in using a scholarly, contemplative protagonist to tease deep emotion and significance out of old stories.” —The Chicago Review of Books

“Dazzling. . . . Readers who missed Vo’s debut will have no trouble following the second leg of Chih’s travels, and those returning will be pleased to sink into another lush, sophisticated story of queer love and survival.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

So good I want to marry it.” —Martha Wells, New York Times bestselling author of The Murderbot Diaries

Vo is my favorite fantasy debut of 2020.” —Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

“This lyrical story of the cleric Chih unraveling the story of a ravenous tiger is unforgettably original and gorgeously written.” —PopSugar

A stunning gem of a novella that explores the complexity and layers of storytelling and celebrates the wonder of queer love. I could read about Chih recording tales forever.” —Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree