In ancient times, there were seven types of evil thoughts, each of which possessed the power to confuse, and muddle, people’s hearts. Every single person that came into contact with one of the seven, would inevitably undergo a sudden change in personality and temperament, and commit the unforgivable crime of murder.
Determined to rid the world of these seven evil thoughts, Lao Zi  forced the seven evil thoughts into seven separate bamboo strips and secured the opening of such bamboo strips with the Phoenix Lock, and, in so doing, finally succeeded in sealing the evil bamboo strips.
But who would have thought, that the evil bamboo strips would, in due course, reappear on the surface of the Earth……
 Lao Zi – An ancient Chinese philosopher and writer (not dissimilar to Confucius), who had authored the Tao Te Ching.
This is the third novel of 尾鱼 which I have devoured, and, unsurprisingly, it is a mystery fantasy novel with horror elements incorporated therein. Like Xi Exiting Yumen (and unlike The Voice of Death), Seven Bamboo Strips of Evil details the trials and tribulations of a haphazard group of people who are forcefully thrown together by fate, and are left with little choice but to embark on a journey where they battle against, and triumph over, the titular seven bamboo strips of evil.
Now, legend has it, that with the development of mankind, mankind gradually evolved from the pure, simplistic creatures they once were, to complex, complicated beings who possessed both evil and good thoughts. Unfortunately, as evil and greed began to run rampant, a wise philosopher and sage, Lao Zi, resorted to the entrapment of the seven evils of the world into seven separate bamboo sticks. However, as the years passed, the chains on the locks slowly started to weaken, and the seven evils once again descended into the mortal realm, only to be challenged and entrapped time and time again by varying groups of people who, like our present haphazard team were thrown together by mythical forces in this arduous task. And so, our story begins proper – with our male lead, Luo Xiao Dao, crossing paths with our female lead, Mu Dai, as he investigates the sudden, strange death of his uncle (which had been caused by one of the evil bamboo strips). As they progress in their journey to uncovering the truth of our male lead’s uncle’s death, they are joined by a small-time thief (Cao Yan Hua), a direct, brash and straightforward tomboy (Huo Zi Hong), and a laidback, cheating bartender (Yi Wan San), and eventually, all five of them become entangled in their quest to “collect” and “trap” the seven evils which had dispersed to all other parts of the world, and along the way, we uncover greater detail about their lives and their background, and the reason why they had been “selected” to form the destined group responsible for battling the seven evils.
Having said, when compared against Xi Exiting Yumen and The Voice of Death, I have to say that Seven Bamboo Strips of Evil comes in last in terms of how much I liked the novels – compared to The Voice of Death, the focus on the romance between the male lead and female lead is much more muted here, and compared to Xi Exiting Yumen, the characterization of the male and female lead attracts me to a far lesser degree – in Xi Exiting Yumen, the female lead, Xi Feng, is an extremely independent, resourceful and powerful person – heck, she even becomes the eventual “leader” of the other realm – while the male lead surprisingly manages to hold his own as well; conversely, in Seven Bamboo Strips of Evil, the male and female leads are more typical, with the female lead displaying more dependency than Xi Feng, and the male lead being the forever strong support pillar (possibly in part due to the female lead’s young age and lack of trials and tribulations, and possibly in part due to the male lead’s extensive worldly experience). Nevertheless, Seven Bamboo Strips of Evil is still a really good (albeit long) read, and 尾鱼 truly does not disappoint.