Author: M.L. Wang
Genre: Adult Fantasy
“The Sword of Kaigen” is a book driven by tension caused by external and internal stimuli either through war and strife from within the citizens of Takayubi. The balance of the two carries the story very well.
The first part of the book suffers from what is usually diagnosed as dense world building and info dumping. This made the beginning a struggle to read and feel engaged, however, once I reached the peak of the book, the story avalanche started rolling and it got me engaged and what a ride it’s been.
The story takes place in Takayubi which is part of the Kaiganese Empire. Takayubi is known to have strong Theonite warriors who have protected the empire from neighbouring nemesis.
Not everything is as it seems , as Mamuro Matsuda (or Matsuda Mamuro which is the correct way aligning his name in Japanese), the son and descendent of a strong family of warriors, starts to be see hints of cracks in his reality and proceeds to question the government’s true intentions for the citizens of the empire. His mother, Misaki, who plays the role of the perfect housewife, starts to break away from the mold she created for herself since fifteen years of marrying into the Matsuda household.
The book raises questions about regret and disappointment in all types of situations. It also addresses that by holding onto the past while reflecting on your current situation with regret, will eventually paralyze you from realizing the amount of time that’s slipping away. Time does not wait for you to realize what is precious but shows you what you have wasted by wallowing in sorrow.
We are also shown how much love and light there is in any situation regardless of the circumstance you’re in.
The book reminds me that we as humans tirelessly carry a lot of pain inwards as we age and it also highlights the lessons of hardship we need to face in order to grow while embracing that pain.
“The Sword of Kaigen” is heavy in character development and world building, which makes it nothing short of amazing, however, it’s a few points shy of becoming a masterpiece.
A truly astonishing read that has left me torn in a positive way.
I will definitely read M.L.Wang’s future works and I recommend anyone who resonates with my review to pick this up soon.