The Sword of Kaigen

“Let’s be older when we meet again.”

“What?”

“Not just in years. Let’s be better and wiser and brighter next time.”

I do love books that make me emotional but seriously I have not cried so hard in a book since Storm of Swords.

The Sword of Kaigen follows 2 POV’s teenage Mamoru whose the first son of a legendary warrior dynasty coming of age in a closed off culture that he begins to question with the arrival of a friendly outsider.

The main POV however is his mother Misaki. Her father for some reason indulged her in education and travel and she became a rather skilled warrior herself and feel in love with a kindly Robin Hood character.

And then her father was like nope, I love you very much my dear but hey marry into this frankly misogynistic family and culture. Your husbands not so bad if you like being around a rock no less married to one and not in the he’s your rock when you need him kind of way but he has the emotions of a rock. Oh and his shit head of a father is abusive and you are only there to bury your past and your emotions and churn out some male babies even if it kills you.

Yes the beginning of this book…

I did not like. In fact as much as I liked Misaki and Mamoru (and his opening eyes) there were just certain parts I wasn’t in the mood for but then around the middle the book generally becomes so much more during and after a horrendous attack on the village. And as much as it’s about questioning who you are and what you are raised to believe it’s about strength and perseverance in the face of incredible grief.

Even if that grief includes mourning for the person you are and recognizing what you lost and couldn’t see when you couldn’t let go of that person.

Also I must warn the attack on the village is very brutal. M.L. Wang is very good at descriptive action scenes but don’t let the magical elements (because it is a fantasy) blind you… it’s harsh and includes a scene of rape and suicide and at times mentions of dead and endangered young children.

Anyway despite the beginning I gave it five stars one of my favorite reads of the year.

Recommend: Yes.