"My mind is my light, my candle. The shadow flees me, not the other way around."

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Words can't express how incredibly good the first two chapters of this story were. With "Strike The Zither" Joan He exceed herself and gifts us another amazing and intriguing story with fierce and strong female characters (and you will immediately fall in love with them). Already on the first pages you are taken into the Xin Empire - currently marked by war and unrest, we experience firsthand how our protagonists are pursued before the imminent danger of Miasma. So close that I had the feeling of standing right next to Zephyr as a so-called peasant.
Zephyr is certainly not the most sympathetic protagonist at first, as it becomes clear relatively quickly that she is quite aware of her intelligence. So aware, in fact, that she sees herself as being above everyone else. But it's exactly this razor-sharp mind that makes her an incredibly interesting character, who we can't quite read yet. To whom does her loyalty really belong? In Strike The Zither we will accompany her on her journey full of intrigue and trickery. It's already clear that we can look forward to mind games and extremely good plot twists - nothing else is to be expected after a masterpiece like Descendant of the Crane.
Ren, Cloud and Lotus are also extremely interesting characters since none of them is like the other. Hopefully we'll get to read quite a lot from all of these characters!