Failing grades. Misleading wind vampires. And a fortune in forgotten gold.
Traveling to the most remote region of China certainly wasn’t what Ben Vecchio had in mind for his summer vacation, but when Tenzin suggested a quick trip, he could hardly turn down a chance to keep her out of trouble and practice the Mandarin he still struggled with in class.
Of course, Tenzin might not have been clear about everything travel entailed.
Driving a truck full of rotting vegetables and twenty million in gold from Kashgar to Shanghai was only the start. If Ben can keep the treasure away from grasping immortals, the reward will be more than worth the effort. But when has travel with a five-thousand-year-old wind vampire ever been simple?
“I thought it would be good to come to China to practice speaking Mandarin.”
“You came to Xinjiang to practice Chinese?”
“I’m starting to think my friend had ulterior motives.”
My reaction to this novella can be adequately summed up with just this: ahahahahahaha
If I must add something else, it is this: “Damn it, Tenzin!” followed by more cackling.
Shadows and Gold is the start of a spinoff to Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mystery series. I have read the Elemental Mystery series several times now, absolutely in love with Bea and Gio. I have read these novellas more times than I think I care to admit now, as well. I can’t get enough of these characters, and this story. Yet, even after so many times, I cannot say for certain if you would get as much enjoyment out of these novellas without having read Elemental Mystery before. This series is self contained very well, but I just love everything I knew about them before this series started and how Ben has grown up over time.
When we last left Benjamin, he was only a boy of about 16 or so. He has grown up to a man in his early 20s, and even more awesome with time. Tenzin is the same old Tenzin. Self absorbed. Selfish. Completely disconnected with the human world. Yet Tenzin knows this, and everyone around her knows this. It leads to some of the best interactions.
I love the relationship between Benjamin and Tenzin. I honestly cannot separate the two in my mind. They wouldn’t be themselves without the other. Benjamin has grown up around Tenzin, ever since he went into the care of his “Uncle Gio”. Tenzin has also come to rely on Benjamin as her tie to the human world. Benjamin takes absolutely no shit from Tenzin that she doesn’t trick him into. Even then, he doesn’t take her shit if he doesn’t absolutely have to. He has known her too long. They both know what is going on, and they both love the play too much.
The story is pretty simple. Ben and Tenzin go to China to collect a gold hoard of Tenzin’s from Kashmir, in a place that is set to be demolished. As you can probably guess, this doesn’t go as easily as planned. Such as Benjamin having to drive an entire week from where he flies into to even get to the hoard. The story is just much too short for my liking. I just wanted more and more and more. But this is so damn good. I love it so much. This isn’t going to be the last time I’ve read this.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Elemental Legacy series page!