I’ve decided to pair down this review due to how long it took to complete and my own inability to motivate a full edit. So here is the Epilogue about the main characters instead.
Regardless, though, I am hooked, and I’ll be quite happy to continue the series (with time). In the Appendix we learn who Bao-yu had seen the fates for in the fairy’s library, beginning with Skybright’s terrible fate by slanderers. Aroma does marry, Caltrop/Ying-lian is murdered by Xue Pan’s horrible wife, Xin Jin-gui. As for Bao-chai and Dai-yu, they are represented as two halves of a perfect woman and the meaning behind their songs are up for debate as to whether the first or second refer to one or the other, or the first to both, or the first and second about Bao-yu, alone. There are other characters explained, but I’ll only list those I remember, the last being Xi-feng, whom will have an unfulfilled life which may end in divorce.