Storytime with Saydria: These Violent Delights/Our Violent Ends


Meghan McGowan

These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends make up author Chloe Gong’s debut duology. The stories are a Romeo and Juliet spin-off that is set in Shanghai, China during the late 1920s.

These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends are a debut duology retelling of the classic Romeo and Juliet written by Chloe Gong. Our Violent Ends came out Nov. 16th and is the long-awaited sequel to These Violent Delights. The sequel did not disappoint it’s readers; within 24 hours, fans were already creating fan art and celebrating the novel. 

This tale of lovers and liars has everything: women with knives and sarcastic brunettes, dual pov, supernatural elements, politics, rival gangs, fake deaths, blackmail, fake dating, angry love confessions, betrayals, familial loyalties and lack of it, false identities, and much more. It might just be easier to list all the things that the book does not have.

The duology takes place in Shanghai, China during the late 1920s as the city is split between the Cai gang, the Montagov gang, the Nationalists, the Communists, and the foreigners. All the power-hungry politicians split the city into pieces, and in doing so, they lead to great turmoil and distrust in the government and all power figures. 

The story follows Juliet Cai (Cai Junli), the heir to the Chinese Cai gang, and Roma Montagov (Roman Nikolaevich Montagov), the heir to the Roman Montagov gang as they grow from childhood friends to lovers to enemies to reluctant allies to almost lovers back to enemies and back to forced allies. Juliet and Roma reluctantly join forces to defeat a supernatural monster that is spreading madness through the streets of Shanghai. Their attempts to stop and capture the person behind the monster leads them down many false paths and dangerous situations, where they have no choice but to trust each other. 

The Chinese background features a large portion of Asian characters in the novel with various positions of power and gender within the Cai gang. The multiple pov also allows for LGBT+ relationships within the story. Gong herself is a young POC who was born in Shanghai, China. 

Although the story is a Romeo and Juliet retelling, the story is not identical to Shakespeare’s original, which leaves the reader on the edge of their seat waiting for what comes next. Gong’s twist on Romeo and Juliet contains many plot lines all weaving together to create her masterpiece. However, there are popular Shakespeare references such as the titles which come from popular lines from the play. With Gong, each page, each paragraph leaves a vivid picture of the scene, the plot, and the characters innermost thoughts. In the violent world that she created, there are moments from start to finish that are as delicate as glass, leaving the impression that those small moments between the characters are sacred and should be treated as such. 

Our Violent Ends neatly ties up all the loose ends from These Violent Delights. All the side plot lines and characters have a resolution. In the end, the duology will only leave you wondering which is worse: to have madness spread like a disease, or to have it wielded as a weapon. 

Gong announced her next work: an adult fantasy trilogy, Immortal Longings, based off of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and China’s Kowloon Walled City.