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Sanne

Sanne

I like to read classics, historical fiction and world lit. Oh and I love short stories.

Fudoki (Kij Johnson)

Fudoki - Kij Johnson, Claire Eddy

Sometimes there are books that come along and happen to be just what you needed at that moment. That was Fudoki for me: the right book at the right time. I've read it with so much joy that, in the moments that I couldn't read, I was waiting for the time when I could pick it up again. It's been a while since a book has been that gripping.

 

The story is just the right mix between historical fiction and fantasy. The fantastic flows effortlessly from the spiritual beliefs and the folklore of Heian era Japan, while the story is tied into historical events through Harueme's recounts of her half-brother, Emperor Shirakawa, who ruled in the late 11th century. I would love to read more historical fantasy that incorporates the fantastical into the historical in this manner.

 

The characters were well rounded and their journey's - spiritual and actual - where a joy to read. I found Harueme's relationship with Shigeko especially touching. Also, I loved that the protagonists aren't your usual suspects: they're a cat-woman-warrior and a seventy-year-old princess.