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YMMV: Bridge of Birds
  • Complete Monster: The Duke of Ch'in is introduced as a tyrant who only cares about money, power, and obtaining immortality. To do so he tricked three gullible handmaidens into giving the feathers of the Princess of Birds' crown to him (thus rendering her unable to meet her lover in Heaven) and then murdered them so that they couldn't ask for them back. The Duke then drowned a city just to be able to hide his Soul Jar there, and cursed the three aforementioned handmaidens to guard his Soul Jar, essentially binding them to protect their murderer's heart for eternity. Ten Ox declares that the Duke "must have the coldest heart in the world!"
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: The sword dance, as well as the titular Bridge of Birds.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The book practically runs on it. Master Li's slowly growing understanding of the true nature of their quest (and who's pulling the strings) counts as an in-story example.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Master Li - a rare heroic example.
  • Nightmare Fuel: A good-sized helping of it... things like No. Ten Ox's description of the results of eating inaccurately prepared porcupine meat have a way of sticking in the memory.
  • Tear Jerker: Miser Shen's prayer to his dead daughter is incredibly poignant.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Neither of the sequels really lives up to the standard set by Bridge of Birds, although they are still very good.

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