What readers are saying about Theonite:
★★★★★ 5/5 – Truly a masterpiece, highest recommendations!
“This was an absolutely incredible read, certainly the best of the best of all the books I’ve read in the genre!… I absolutely loved every piece of it, and although it sounds cliche, I truly could not put it down once I started!… Could not recommend enough!”
— Camille Choe (Amazon Review)
★★★★★ 5/5 Absolutely loved it!
“Sci fi and magic and alternate universes! This book opens up whole new worlds and new ways of looking at culture and race and social norms. I’m ready for the next in the series!”
— Aidan Sea (Amazon Review)
★★★★★ 5/5 Suspenseful throughout
“I’m usually picky about sci-fi/fantasy books, but this one drew me in right away! Reading chapter one before bed quickly turned into reading over half of the book. It seamlessly weaves together fantasy with interdimensional worlds.”
— Amazon Reviewer
Early Reviews are in for The Sword of Kaigen!
See what professional publications are saying…
★ Blue Ink starred review
Tonally reminiscent of Lian Hearn’s bestselling Tales of the Otori saga—Wang’s prequel of sorts to her Theonite series—is a standalone fantasy chronicling a small community’s struggle to survive a conflict that ravages their mountain home and threatens to destroy their traditional, albeit antiquated, way of life.
Set on the planet Duna, on Mount Takayubi in the Kaigenese Empire, the story revolves around the populace of a remote, highly patriarchal village that, for generations, has raised and trained swordsmen with magical, almost supernatural abilities to fight enemies that invade the realm. The warriors, known collectively as the Sword of Kaigen, have repelled invaders for centuries. But it has been decades since the last conflict—and outside the boundaries of the remote mountain village, the world has radically advanced, both technologically and societally.
Misaki Matsuda is married to Takeru, one of the heads of Takayubi’s leading warrior house. Although she has borne several sons, her life is unfulfilling, and the culture’s relentless sexist repression, coupled with the lack of any meaningful connection with her husband, has left her bitter. But when she discovers that an enemy attack is imminent—and that her own government has been lying to its people for years—she’s forced to embark on a brutal journey of self-discovery that will spur her to reevaluate everything in her life, from her societal role to her marriage.
Although this is a character-driven tale, Wang complements the well-developed cast with immersive world-building, brisk pacing, and a fluid, richly described narrative. Also of note are the well-choreographed fight scenes, which—in lesser hands—can easily become mechanical and lose intensity. Wang’s fight scenes are fast-paced, clearly described, and exciting.
The Sword of Kaigen is an utterly readable novel and the perfect starting point for Wang’s Theonite saga. Fantasy and martial arts aficionados alike should enjoy this emotionally supercharged novel about love and loss, which pierces readers’ hearts with the precision of a samurai’s razor-sharp blade.
Foreword Clarion Review – Excerpt
M. L. Wang’s fantastical story The Sword of Kaigen is compelling and rife with magic and heartbreak… A complex social dynamic and hierarchy feed off of each other, helping to round out other characters as the narrative unfolds… There are many interesting elements at play in the story, especially around social dynamics… Complex societies and an unique magic system make The Sword of Kaigen an engaging work of high fantasy.
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Asian Fantasy Book Giveaway!
To celebrate the February launch of The Sword of Kaigen, I will be hosting an East Asian-inspired fantasy book giveaway from now until February 18th, 2019! 5 winners will get to choose any book from the list of 25 Asian-inspired Fantasy Books I released last week (sequels & prequels to listed books eligible upon request).
To enter, all you have to do is join my Sword of Kaigen mailing list, through which you will also gain access to SoK discounts & pre-order swag.
If you missed my 25 Asian-inspired Fantasy Books post, I’ve listed the eligible titles here (for more details, feel free to visit the original list).
1) The Shadow of the Fox, by Julie Kagawa
2) Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay
3) In the Vanisher’s Palace, by Aliette de Bodard
4) The Emperor’s Soul , by Brandon Sanderson
5) Ten Thousand Thorns, by Suzannah Rowntree
6) Girls of Paper and Fire, by Natasha Ngan
7) Blade’s Edge, by Virginia McClain
8) The Black Tides of Heaven, by JY Yang
9) The Secrets of Jin-shei, by Alma Alexander
10) Empress of All Seasons, by Emiko Jean
11) The Poppy War, by R.F. Kuang
12) The Girl with Ghost Eyes, by M.H. Boroson
13) Huntress, by Malinda Lo
14) Stormdancer, by Jay Kristoff
15) Songs of Insurrection, by JC Kang
16) Jade City, by Fonda Lee
17) A Mortal Song, by Megan Crewe
18) Nightblade, by Ryan Kirk
19) The Priestess and the Dragon, by Nicolette Andrews
20) Spinning Silk, by T. Cook
21) Book of Immortals: Disciple, by Kassandra Lynn
22) Across the Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearn
23) For a Muse of Fire, by Heidi Heilig
24) Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, by Julie C. Dao
25) Gunpowder Alchemy, by Jeannie Lin