The Sword of Kaigen (Theonite)
Author: M. L. Wang
Publisher: M. L. Wang
Released: February 19th, 2019
Genre: High Fantasy
Characters: Misaki Tsusano, Mamoru Matsuda, Takeru Matsuda, Takashi Matsuda, Hyori Yukino, Dai Yukino, …
A mother struggling to repress her violent past,
A son struggling to grasp his violent future,
A father blind to the danger that threatens them all.
When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?
High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’
Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.
Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface.
First of all, I want to thank Karina from afirepages for hosting this blog tour and have me to be part of this tour. Also, many thanks to the author, M. L. Wang for writing this story and providing the e-book in exchange for an honest review. So, without further ado, let’s get into the review.
This is my first time reading a high fantasy book, because obviously, I didn’t know this book was going to be of high fantasy genre. I was worried for a second that I might not be able to catch up with the story. Surprisingly, I had a great time reading it but I must say, high fantasy is still not really my go-to genre just yet.
This book started off introducing us the two main characters’ POVs, Mamoru’s and Misaki’s, who is Mamoru’s mother. I couldn’t really relate to Mamoru because maybe I don’t really feel connected with a teenager’s perspective these days. So, this is just me honestly. Meanwhile, Misaki’s life and her relationship with her sister-in-law and her best friend really made me feel warm and happy. I loved it when the ladies talked about their chores, their kids yet at certain point they showed that they were not entirely ignorant about the current situation, including political issues and about how the men behaved.
I’m also very happy that this book is both plot and character-driven. The plot was very well planned and the development was consistent and nicely paced. One of my favourite thing about this book is the character development. To see the characters in this book to gradually change their personality and their views on certain aspects in their life was pure joy.
This book also touches on feminism or women status in the society. At first, I was like, yeah, this is yet another book on how low women’s status in a household back then, understood and I wasn’t very intrigued by this particular theme. However, once Misaki regained her will and her fierceness, when she decided she would stop obeying and actually challenged her husband. The time when she decided she would not only support her husband, also to fight along with him and make him a better leader, that was just mind blowing! This is the definition of behind every successful man is a woman. I was shookt.
This book ends up being quite unpredictable for me, especially on who was the main character and with all the propaganda and lies told by the Empire. All these conspiracy and the changes of scenes were really engaging and it makes the entire story very promising. Really looking forward on what the sequel has to offer but for now, I am absolutely satisfied with the ending.
Mamoru Matsuda as Aang
I imagine Mamoru as Aang because they faced almost the same situation and pressure. They are both child prodigy. They are expected to achieve great things at a very young age. They also both faced a truth that turned their whole life upside down; Mamoru with the lies he had been fed at school and Aang after he woke up years later when the fire nation had killed every single air bender.
Misaki Matsuda/Tsusano as Katara
I found that Misaki’s spirit is similar with Katara. They are both strong and very decisive. They know what they want in life and always know how to take control of situations. And oh, they both can control blood!
Takeru Matsuda as Prince Zuko
Both of them have lived their whole life believing in what they are fighting for and trust their leaders. They both had undergone certain events and somehow changed their outlook in their life and about the people around them, making peace with their enemy and become a better person.
Kwang Chul Hee as Sokka
I loved Kwang and Mamoru’s friendship, just like I adore Sokka and Aang’s frienship. Hence, I cast Kwang as Sokka and they both like to complain a lot, yet funny and loyal.
Dai Yukino as Uncle Iroh
I always picture Uncle Iroh as a great teacher, just like Yukino sensei. They both taught the kids to have patience and to have control over their emotions and power. They both gave me a very calming and soothing vibe.
The unnamed villain as Firelord Ozai
I don’t think I need to give a reason for this as it is obvious that they are both cold-hearted villain?
If you have read the book, let me know what you think of these matches? Do you also notice the similarities? Or maybe not?
About The Author
M. L. Wang was born in Wisconsin in 1992, decided she wanted to be an author at the age of nine, and never grew up. She got her Bachelor of Arts in history in 2015 and currently works at a martial arts school in her home city of Madison.
When she isn’t building worlds on the page, she builds them in her aquarium full of small, smart fish that love to explore castles and don’t make noise during writing time.