Unsouled by Will Wight

A review by JC Kang The Monkey King meets Up. For a novel entitled Unsouled, Will Wight’s prototypical story has a lot of soul. I’d picked it up a couple of years ago, but each time I’d tried to start, like many books buried on the slopes of Mount TBR, I never made it past the first…

An Introduction to Xianxia

An article by JC Kang The most widely read fantasy story in history is not George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, nor even JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. That honor belongs to Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy, which fits into the Wuxia (pronounced ooo-shyah, literally Martial Knight-Errant) genre. If you’ve seen Crouching Tiger,…

Nightblade’s Vengeance by Ryan Kirk

A review by JC Kang Shogun meets the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. With over a thousand reviews on Amazon, Ryan Kirk’s Nightblade trilogy is perhaps the most popular Asian fantasy, with the exception of Will Wight’s Cradle series. I had listened to book one a couple of years ago, and while I enjoyed the characters, story,…

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

A review by JC Kang Reviewer’s Note: Upon finishing this novella, which took six days the first time around, I immediately wrote an initial review where I rated it 6/10 stars. Then, I re-read it, knowing how it ended. Two hours later, I was done, and was smacking my head at having missed the subtlety….

Traitor’s Hope

For centuries the Rōjū council silenced all who opposed them, spreading lies and killing innocents in order to maintain the status quo and ensure that female Kisōshi were little more than a long-forgotten myth. Now that Mishi and Taka have helped to depose the corrupt council, the land of Gensokai is reeling as it takes…

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

A Review by JC Kang One of my favorite parts of writing reviews is coming up with a snappy tagline that compares the book in question to iconic stories. The publisher has promoted Descendant of the Crane as a Chinese-inspired Game of Thrones, and while it does have an intricate plot and luscious world building,…

A Basic Introduction to Youkai

Every culture has its folklore about inhuman creatures, and in Japan these are the youkai (also yōkai). There are thousands of these entities, with diverse personalities and habits, from tiny spirits which live in wild grasses or appear only as lights on tree branches to enormous monsters which might crash through your roof at night.

Masters of Deception

Only an orphan half-elf and a conman can prevent an ancient evil from returning to the world.

Blade’s Edge

Every nation has its secrets. So do its heroes.

The Kisōshi, elite warriors with elemental powers, have served as the rulers and protectors of the people of Gensokai for more than a thousand years. Though it is believed throughout Gensokai that there is no such thing as a female Kisōshi, the Rōjū ruling council goes to great lengths to ensure that no one dares ask why.