Title: The Sword of Kaigen
Author: M.L. Wang
Publisher: self-published- M.L. Wang
Published: February 19, 2019
Format: my ebook
I’m going to do my VERY best to write a review that makes sense without spoilers. This book is insanely quotable, so there might be a few in here. It was so hard to choose. I want to thank, Hamad @ The Book Prescription for recommending this to me. Sorry, it took so long friend! ❤
“You learn over time that the world isn’t broken. It’s just… got more pieces to it than you thought. They all fit together, just maybe not the way you pictured when you were young.”
We get two different POV’s in this book…well more like 2.5 but I’m not really going to get into that because it could be a spoiler. Anyways, we go back and forth between Misaki and Mamoru. The interesting thing is that we actually get the past and present with Misaki. There’s a lot more to her than meets the eye and she’s got a whole past that is vastly interesting. She’s living her life now and full of regret. She’s struggling with trying to let go of her past and be content with her future. Mamoru is her son and he’s the heir. He’s trying to find his place in life. He meets a new schoolmate that makes him start questioning everything. These characters were written so well. I was in love with them so fast and they will not be characters that I will forget for a long time, if ever. They all had such amazing arcs too and they actually blew me away.
“I’ve never needed a sword to protect you—to raise you the way your father wanted. Caring for my family meant putting away the fighter, so I did.”
Wang’s world-building is fabulous. There’s all kinds of magic going on with ice, wind, and blood. There’s a lot of Japanese customs and language. It did take me a while to get the hang of the language but then it was smooth sailing. I was hooked into this world right away. There’s a lot of information coming at you but it never felt overwhelming or dragged for me. The way she was able to detail even the clothing, I could see it all perfectly.
This book is intense. There were so many times that I was holding my breath or stressing out! There is a lot of action and a lot of fighting. With that being said, there’s a lot of things that might trigger a person- a lot of children dying. Ugh, it was so brutal to read at times. I’m pretty sure I felt EVERY emotion possible reading this book. There’s a scene in here that is literally the most heart-wrenching scene I have ever read. I give Wang a ton of props because the way she told the story leading up to this event, makes it so powerful and in a way beautifully tragic.
“Wholeness, she had learned, was not the absence of pain but the ability to hold it.”
If you love fantasy then you need to read this book. It’s more than just magic and war. It’s about people finding their way in the world or to each other, overcoming pain, love, hardship, growing up, and learning. It’s such a brilliant book and I’m so glad to have read it. I have not had a book hit me this hard emotionally, in a long time.