“We are the Sword of Kaigen,” said her husband. “If we’ve let it rust, we deserve to die on it, along with our enemies.”
“Including your sons?” she demanded, “Your little children?”
“Yes,” he said without irony or hesitation. “Who do you think you married?”
High on a mountainside live the most powerful fighters in the world, warriors 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 snowy spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’
It has been nearly a century since the swordsmen of Kusanagi beat back Ranga’s wind-wielding armies at the end of the Great War. Since then, the region has fallen on hard times, with most of the fighters and sword-smiths trickling off to the cities in search of better work. Only a handful of practicing swordsmen now remain in Kusanagi’s great families: Lightning Dai of the Yukino clan, the Matsuda brothers, Takashi and Takeru, masters of the Whispering Blade, and Takeru’s son, Mamoru, who is only fourteen. And, despite the stream of comforting propaganda issuing from the Empire’s capital, it seems that Kaigen’s enemies across the ocean are growing in strength and numbers.
For young Mamoru and the few others with the gall to doubt their Empire, the questions creep closer: What is their government hiding from them? What monsters have begun stirring in the west while the Empire has turned a blind eye? When the winds of war return, will the men of Kusanagi be enough to hold them back? And if they are Kaigen’s sword, whose fingers hold the handle?
About the Story
The Sword of Kaigen is a multi-part novella that takes place thirteen years before the events of Planet Adyn and Orbit in the Shirojima region of the Kaigenese Empire. It is a standalone story, meaning that you do not need to have read the Theonite books to appreciate it.
As stated in its subtitle, The Sword of Kaigen is a war story and all that implies (i. e. graphic violence, major character death, child death, sexual assault, and other unpleasant subject matter). So, if you are one of my younger readers or if you are sensitive to disturbing content, please give this one a pass.
General trigger warnings: domestic abuse, depression, child death, rape, miscarriage, suicide, genocide, and PTSD