The Antique by Peter Fang starts out in China approximately two thousand years ago. A tiger has killed a young boy, the son of a warlord. A witch, Zi-Ling, was wrongfully accused of killing the boy. She vowed revenge upon those responsible for her impending death. Her ashes were separated by a monk and sent to different areas of the world in order to keep her from reconstructing herself and avenging her death.
Zi-Lin needs her descendants and the ashes to become powerful again. She uses people and insects to gather her power and find the descendants, also known as the Blood Children. Zi-Ling’s sister, Maylan, turns the monk into a worm and then called Lao Chong. From then on the worm does the bidding of Maylan. They use the worm and spells to control people.
There is also a golden box called Gu, which contains part of Zin-Lin’s ashes. Apparently, Gu has her own power and calls herself The Queen.
At this point, I’m confused. Why does Gu have her own personality? Why isn’t the witch the focus instead of the queen? There are so many characters and it’s still the beginning of the book.
Most of the book takes place during the present time in San Francisco. The Queen and her minions have tracked two of the Blood Children.
There’s at least one chapter devoted to understanding why and how the insects and other creatures run things for the Queen. I could have done without knowing and understanding the insect’s point of view. Maybe it’s just my personal distaste for bugs.
Part of me wants the witch to avenge her death but I think that sympathy for her gets lost in the story. The book needs a bit of streamlining to make it easier to follow. Sometimes I’m not sure if the witch and the Queen are the same entity.
There are some good parts of the book. I like the section about the witch and the tiger. The parts with the current blood children are good. The premise of the book is good but it gets a bit off track in some places.
If you are seeking to avenge your ancestor’s death, then you might appreciate this book.
If you are an exterminator, then you won’t appreciate this book or the treatment of exterminators. Plus, there are so many bugs and spiders with an incredible amount of intelligence.
Will the witch be able to reconstruct herself or will the Blood Children destroy the boxes? Will the Orkin Man or Woman ever be successful against the power of insects and spiders?
- I received the ebook from Reedsy in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
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