Retrato do autor

M. L. Wang

Autor(a) de The Sword of Kaigen

7+ Works 745 Membros 20 Críticas


Obras por M. L. Wang

The Sword of Kaigen (2019) 597 exemplares, 14 críticas
Blood Over Bright Haven (2023) 90 exemplares, 1 crítica
Planet Adyn (2016) 34 exemplares, 3 críticas
The Alchemy of Sorrow (2022) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares, 2 críticas
Orbit (2017) 9 exemplares
City of Ghosts 1 exemplar

Associated Works

When Swords Fall Silent: An Epic Fantasy Anthology (2023) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum




DNF @100pages

This started off in a bone chilling brutal way - super interesting.
Then it was just a book about academia - a female scientist trying to make a difference whilst being squashed by misogyny. It felt like a fantasy version of Lessons In Chemistry. And the magic system is based on math.
I gave up when she started to defend the colonialists theft of important indigenous works so that they could properly preserve them.
spiritedstardust | Jun 1, 2024 |

Blood and ice wielding descendants, small mountaintop village and loads of political scheming and bloody battles.

The sword wielding badass Misaki reminded me a lot of Kiddo from Kill Bill. This book was filled with a TON of grief though- spent the second half constantly crying.
It took me a while to get into it but the reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was because of the romance.
I’m sorry, but this dude did SO MUCH unforgivable stuff to her that I just cannot ignore or forget.… (mais)
spiritedstardust | 13 outras críticas | Jun 1, 2024 |
This is a self-published book but it's up to the highest professional standards. It's a standalone epic fantasy, inspired by Japanese culture. It's high-fantasy, with most people having elemental magic of one kind or the other. There are battles filled with spectacular displays of power and sword duels. However, it's very character-focused, and its main strength is the ability to make readers care deeply about the characters. Because of that, it's not all action and fights, there is also a lot of chapters devoted to character development.

The Sword of Kaigen of the title is a small peninsula in the Kaigen Empire, which is part of the first line of defense against foreign invasions. It is sparsely populated, but within its various mountain villages there are several families with strong water-based elemental powers, forming a warrior caste. The most powerful among them by far is the Matsuda family, so strong in their magic that they are described as having the blood of the gods in their veins. However, they are few, and the Kaigen empire is weak and decadent, while their traditional enemies have grown strong and have extremely powerful magical warriors of their own.

The two point of view characters are Misaki Matsuda, wife of the second son of the Matsuda family, and her eldest son, 14-year-old Mamoru Matsuda. Misaki's family sent her to study abroad, and she used to be a strong, confident young woman, with considerable fighting abilities of her own. In her new life as a Matsuda, women are confined to traditional roles, and it's not acceptable for them to fight or have a say in any important decisions. Misaki accepted her family's decision to marry her to Takeru Matsuda, but now she is not happy in this constrained atmosphere, with her cold, deeply traditional husband. It's only her friendship with other women in the family and occasionally her sons who make life worth living for her.

Mamoru, meanwhile, is training to be a warrior. As the eldest of the new generation of Matsudas, there is a lot of pressure on him to master the family techniques as soon as possible. Also, his friendship with a boy born in a different part of the empire is exposing him to new ideas and filling him with doubts.

Based on what I'm describing, you might think that this is based on a pre-technological Japan, but that's not the case. The characters live in a backwards, isolated area with very traditional values, but there is advanced technology like planes and wireless communication, even if we often do not see much of them.

It was difficult for me to understand why military conflict was mostly based on martial arts and elemental magic, instead of, say, on machine guns. Sure, the greatest warriors had powers stronger than technology, but surely the weaker ones could have used modern firearms. Also, there are some brief flashbacks to Misaki's past, which represent a puzzling change of tone. We go from epic fantasy to vigilante superhero fiction. I understand it's a connection with a YA trilogy that the author has written, taking place in a different part of the same world, but nevertheless it was strange. (That trilogy may be YA, but that's not the case with this standalone book, which has adult themes).

These are minor complaints, however, in a very readable and addictive story, harsh and sad at times, heartbreaking, emotionally draining, but also with hopeful elements. I recommend it highly.
… (mais)
jcm790 | 13 outras críticas | May 26, 2024 |
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

This is a great collection of short stories. There weren't any that I didn't enjoy. On the contrary, I found many of them exceptional.

All the stories deal with some kind of negative emotions. We meet the characters at their lowest in life. They feel lost, alone and desperate. This book is not negative, though. Where there is sadness, there is also a hope.

I like the idea of using fantasy medium for this kind of stories. It really shows that fantasy genre can be more than just a magic adventure. It can offer not only escape but also reflection. The situations the characters face might be foreign and unreal, but their emotions are very familiar.

I feel like talking about each short story might give away too much. I personally enjoyed going in blind and discovering what each story is going to be about.

Lullaby by K.S. Villoso - 3,5

Skies on Fire by Sonya M. Black - 4

A Matter of Trust by Angela Boord - 4

A Recurrence of Jasmine by Levi Jacobs - 4

Twice Domesticated Dragons by Intisar Khanani - 4,5

The Witch in the Woods by Quenby Olson - 4

Thief by Virginia McClain - 3,5

Thicker Than Water by Carol A. Park - 5

Death in the Uncanny Valley by M.L. Wang - 4,5

Summer Souls by Clayton Snyder - 3

Reliquary of the Damned by Rachel Emma Shaw - 4

The Quiet by Madolyn Rogers - 4,5

The Paperweight Watch by Krystle Matar - 4
… (mais)
Levitara | 1 outra crítica | Apr 5, 2024 |



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Associated Authors

Angela Boord Contributor
Intisar Khanani Contributor
Quenby Olson Contributor
Levi Jacobs Contributor
Sonya M. Black Contributor
K S Villoso Contributor
Clayton Snyder Contributor
Carol A. Park Contributor
Rachel Emma Shaw Contributor
Krystle Matar Contributor
Madolyn Rogers Contributor
Zoe Badini Cover artist


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