I'm over on Black Gate Magazine today, talking about a Netflix show I recently got into and am now utterly obsessed over.
Anyway, the show is wonderful. I understand that, from my very basic research from this post, that the live-action adaptation is quite divergent from the novel, so I’m content to watch the show while waiting for that official English translation (there are unofficial online translations, but I would like to put money into the hands of the author, you know?), knowing that the two are different enough that my enjoyment of the novel won’t be impacted by having watched the adaptation first. Also, apparently this adaptation is only one of many, and so I might have to go and find other adaptations.
The story itself is a multi-layered fantasy epic drama with grand themes of belonging, family, clan rivalry, justice and love. Centering around Wei Wuxian, also known as Wei Ying or the Yiling Patriarch, an orphaned child who was adopted by his father’s master’s family and is considered a sibling of the master’s two children Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli, the story is often funny, and terribly sweet, and also very, very dark.
It doesn’t pull punches, killing many folks, straining and breaking relationships, and turning heroes into villains. Everything is difficult, and you can understand why people act the way they do, calling into question what you might do if you were caught in these positions. Essentially, it’s my favorite kind of story. Give me the darkness. Give me unsure characters and well-meaning people who unwittingly make bad choices. Give me consequence and heartache and despair. Those alone, however, do not make this one of my recent favorites. What really makes it for me is the thread of a deep abiding love that moves like gossamer throughout the whole piece; a glittering filament of hope that grabs a hold of the heart and doesn’t let go.