Book Review: The Sword of Kaigen

This story tells the tale of a young boy in his adolescence and a mother past her prime in a loveless marriage facing the cruel reality of the world set before them. The young boy, Mamoru, has been told all his life that the family he is born into is a warrior clan. That they are the only thing that stands in the way of foreign invaders and the government depends on them to keep the land safe. When an unexpected new comer comes into the fray, all that he knew about the government and the ideals he held dear are challenged as he struggles to come to grip with the reality of the world. His mother, Misaki, once a crime fighter, now reserved and bitter having submitted herself to a loveless marriage and committed herself to raising children she does not see as her own, finds Mamoru challenging her assumptions and changing the way she sees things. The two come to realize that the things they thought held them together are not as what they seemed. The reality, which they thought would drown them in deeper sorrow brings them closer together as the tides of war grow closer and closer to home.

This story was honestly a big surprise to me. What I thought was going to be a samurai’s tale ended up being a story revolving around family. A son’s journey into understanding becomes the catalyst for a mother’s reform which in turn leads to further change.

The most powerful thing about the book was how the author was able to portray the feelings that were felt by the characters to the reader. I love when books do that. I felt the frustration, the regret, the loneliness, and the distress of the mother and the son. It was palpable throughout the book and leading up to the climax. Halfway through the book something happens that is completely unexpected and the most curious part was that I was itching to see how the characters would react and what exactly would come out of it.

I realize now that this book is just the beginning of a story in a series of books and I am ready to dive head first into that world once again. If this same type of writing is embedded into the series there’s no reason to believe that these books might become my favorite of the year. that is to say I highly recommend reading this book. Thanks for reading! God bless.

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