We’re countinng down the days until Yoon Ha Lee’s Tiger Honor hits bookshelves. Let’s prepare with this intro to a shaman and her best friend.
If you’re going to hijack a battlecruiser, be sure you have a team of trusted professionals at your side. In order to retrieve the Dragon Pearl from the clutches of that pesky fox spirit Min, Captain Hwan has scoured the galaxy in search of the most lethal crew the Thousand Worlds has ever seen. Including . . . a little old lady and her pet dog.
Didn’t anyone ever teach you not to judge by appearances?
A Different Type of Magic
There are plenty of magical beings within the Thousand Worlds to fear. But shamans are a particularly terrifying breed. Especially if you’re a ghost. Shamans are known across the galaxy as being the first line of defense against sinister spirits. So, if your battlecruiser is haunted by the restless undead, you know who to call. Just be sure to rate them five stars for their service. You don’t want to know what happens if you don’t.
(Sha)man’s Best Friend
The dogs that accompany shamans are known as Sapsali and possess magic properties all their own. For example, Sena’s dog, Shield, wields power over the magic of tiger and fox spirits. And his bite is definitely worse than his bark. For this kind of dog, you have to ask the owner, “Is it okay if I pet it?” before you even think of reaching out your hand.
Typically, a shaman will perform a ceremonial exorcism dance to banish ghosts from the mortal realm. But shamanistic arts have evolved over the years, and they vary from region to region. This means that Sena doesn’t need to get her groove on to exorcise a ghost. For her, all it takes is a brief conversation. With the right words, she can literally talk a spirit out of the mortal realm. Conclusion: she’s either really good at her job, or really bad at using mouthwash.
So, how did a skilled shaman and her equally gifted dog link up with Captain Hwan in the first place? It’s especially curious, given the fact that the last time we saw Hwan, we all thought he was well on his way to becoming a ghost himself. Well, the draw of the Dragon Pearl is enough to sway anyone to the dark side, no matter how experienced or potent they may be. Unfortunately for Sena and Hwan, dogs have no such desire for power. They usually just tend to run to whoever has the best treats . . .
We always knew that the fate of the universe would somehow be decided by a piece of beef jerky.
Want to learn more about Sena and Shield? Be sure to pick up Tiger Honor, on sale January 4!