Thankfully the novel lived up to both cover and sword. Yoko is a somewhat normal Japanese girl (other than that crimson hair), haunted by dreams beyond her comprehension and perfectly satisfied with playing the innocent daughter and gifted schoolmate. But then a strange man arrives, shoves a sword in her hand, touches her foot to his head, and implodes the windows of the teacher’s conference room with a storm of glass shards that leave her hardly scratched. Things will never be the same again.
Yoko finds herself battling it out with demons and transported to a world she doesn’t understand. A world where 12 kingdoms (no. really?) exist that haven’t even heard of Japan and blame the recent destructive storms on Yoko’s arrival. The people appear to speak her language but are decidedly not Japanese in features and want nothing more than to deliver her to the nearest magistrate for a fate worse than death. No one can be trusted. As intrigue builds around our heroine and she seeks out the truth in a universe where children grow on trees, she unknowingly enters into a glorious destiny.
The culture built by Fuyumi Ono is detailed and spun with silver thread into the lore of China and Japan. Impressive fight scenes abound, beautifully described creatures crawl from every page corner, and the heroine develops admirably through the upheaval. Originally written in a manga-like form there is that constant underlying sense of the epic legend, accompanied by fantastic inked drawings that appear every now and again. Happily, the sequel comes out *checks calendar* TOMORROW! If it counts for anything, I am quite eager.
KRRRRRACK! SWHOOM! 6.5 Lightnings out of 7! Cheerz...the sound effects are back!!
I wantz a sword,