The Hands of Revenge : Tales of the Magistrate Pt. 2 Author JF Lee

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!

First and foremost, this book is part two of "Tales of the Magistrate". It can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading part one first, "The Touch of Murder". It just helps to set the stage for things and introduce the characters. Overall you will get a better reading experience to read them in order.

"I hate paperwork." - Tao Jun (his number one archnemesis!)

Being forced into actually doing his job, Tao Jun grits his teeth as he's sent to do a bureaucratic task. Not enjoying a minute of it until things turn interesting. Oh and a crime scene involving a murder and is that another body over there? Gladly taking over the case Tao Jun focuses in on the new task that's keeping him away from his stuffy office.

Until a cold chill rushes down his spine as he notices some things about the crime scenes that causes deja-vu for this chaotic magistrate. Facing old demons from his past he knows for a fact were gone. Yet something isn't sitting right. Will he be able to stay focused as he chases down leads? Can he solve this case? And what does the wife have planned this time. . ?

"The truth was, their bickering not only kept each other sharp, but it also kept me sharp too." - Tao Jun

There's never a dull moment around Tao Jun and his team from the Tribunal! If it isn't a case needing worked it's his men bickering and placing bets about something. Not to say Tao Jun isn't the instigator of things. . . Still breaking the fourth wall and remaining in his POV for the entire book. Which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Now this book did come with a content warning at the very beginning. The author even mentioned that you could skip over the first chapter. I am not triggered easily so I read from cover to cover. If you do decide to skip chapter one that is perfectly fine! JF Lee does a fantastic job piecing together chapter one and leaving out the nitty-gritty details.

This second part is a little darker compared to part one. Tao Jun's having to face a gruesome serial killer and the "handy" work the killer leaves behind is intense. So yes, this book contains violence and gore. Not to mention some darker pasts of characters and what they have had to deal with.

I really loved the mystery in this book and the whole whodunnit! I thought I had figured things out pretty quickly but this book took me on a ride. I was not disappointed by things and loved when the puzzle pieces began to click. JF Lee did such a phenomenal job with the mystery and suspense. Not fully being sold on an individual and the ending was emotional!

I also like how Tao Jun had to face his past and realize some things. Yes, your past can help with your future but sometimes that was then and this is now. I was glad to see a little bit more of Tao Jun's wife and her antics. Poor Tao Jun. . . She honestly did him dirty and the scene were he walks into his office and finds his three men gathered around his desk. . . I was laughing so hard!

Tao Jun's still one of my favorite characters! I got to first meet him in the "Tales of the Swordsman". I knew he would be one of my top characters when I first read about him. Tao Jun's story takes place after the first book featuring Li Ming. There may be some slight spoilers for "Tales of the Swordsman" series but nothing in depth to just give it all away.

I had strong feelings against a couple of characters in this book, which just means the author did a fantastic job. You will feel a whole spectrum of emotions with this read! I enjoyed getting to see more of the personalities of Tao Jun's staff and their dynamics. Loved all of the banter amongst the group and the bets being placed. Even the moments of trying to make light of dark situations.

Tao Jun has such an interesting mind. I love how he knows how to "people" and get results without just resulting to violence. Even if sometimes the consequences come to bite him in the rear. We also learn a little more of his past and how he got to be the magistrate.

JF Lee's breathing new life into some of the old tropes that were seen as "acceptable" for so long. Shedding light on some things that should no longer be accepted, modernizing and progressing! His note at the end of the book about the "Jade Beauty Trope" just had me respecting him more! I already loved his work but to read what he stated in the last section was beautiful!

Not to mention. . .Tao Jun sees some "common" things as wrong within both the bureaucratic world and the jianghu (martial arts) world. And he's not afraid to vocalize things.

This is a Wuxia genre read!

"Wuxia is a genre of Chinese fiction that features itinerant warriors of extreme (almost supernatural) martial arts skill in ancient China." - Quoted from JF Lee's website

JF Lee spoils his readers so much! There's a list of main characters at the beginning of the book with a short description of each. Along with a glossary at the back of the book that has definition for Chinese words used within the read. He also has the words listed by chapters! So as to not spoil anything and make it easy to find the definition for a word.

This second part is a little darker than part one. There's mention of SA, some past history of abuse, violence, and gore. Along with language both in English and Chinese. The fight scenes are really well written and the constant question of who did it was perfect! The comedy in the book will have you laughing out loud. The book does close with a bridge-end, meaning there are hints of future arcs for Tao Jun!

I will definitely be reading more by JF Lee! I cannot wait to see more books by the author and read some more of the series I have started. Enjoy the detective story with martial arts and give the author some stars!

The Hands of Revenge: (A Wuxia Detective Story) (The Tales of the Magistrate Book 2) - Kindle edition by Lee, JF. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @


What is wuxia? — JF LEE WUXIA AUTHOR

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