Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 10 March 2020
One of the most unique fantasy books I’ve read. It is standalone, but set in a world in which the author has set previous books (none of which I’ve read). Written by a western author (female) but essentially is Japanese culture-analog fantasy, but set in a world that is diverse and politically dominated by an African culture-analog civilisation. Unusual in that the setting is a region that has kept to its traditional, millenia-old Japanese samurai-style culture and fighting ideals, while the rest of the world is in 2000’s-level tech (jets, mobile phones etc). Ultimately though, this is almost entirely a character story around a mother and sun. It’s about preparedness for war, but not really about war. It’s about the challenges a confident modern woman and an intelligent son face in a very traditional patriarchal society. Most of the story is not about events, it’s not a plot-driven story, but instead is mostly internal musings of the main characters. It’s incredibly immersive, very powerful and moving, and really made me feel what pre-20th century feudal Japan may have been like. Excellent worldbuilding, completely wonderful primary magic system, and outstanding characters. While the focus is not on plot, the plot points that are there are surprising and traumatic at times, but it’s not a grim tale, the focus is on hope and understanding. I completely powered through the 600 pages in a few days.
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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
128 customer ratings