[[ READ E-PUB ]] ⇥ Shinigami ☘ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

BOOK TRAILERUpdate Shinigami was the winner of both Best Gay Fantasy and Best Gay Debut in the 2018 2019 Rainbow awards.https elisa rolle.livejournal.com 3https reviews and ramblings.dreamwiThis book is dedicated to my otaku family, my fujoshi sisters, my fudanshi brothers, and my non binary siblings from the otaku world loveislove yaoiislifeAlso I highly recommend you read Kogitsune first Kogitsune is a 40 minutes short story and can be downloaded for free from Smashwords.https BOOK TRAILERUpdate Shinigami was the winner of both Best Gay Fantasy and Best Gay Debut in the 2018 2019 Rainbow awards.https elisa rolle.livejournal.com 3https reviews and ramblings.dreamwiThis book is dedicated to my otaku family, my fujoshi sisters, my fudanshi brothers, and my non binary siblings from the otaku world loveislove yaoiislifeAlso I highly recommend you read Kogitsune first Kogitsune is a 40 minutes short story and can be downloaded for free from Smashwords.https www.smashwords.com books view [[ READ E-PUB ]] ↙ Shinigami ☠ NB web serial no longer available onlineA coming of age love story between the heir of the richest family in the Land of Yamato and an orphan The human world meets the y kai world in a power struggle for the fate of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu While he battles to find his own path in life, Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will first become his secret friend, then his salvation, then, as they become adults together, the love of his life The story is set during the Nara period of ancient Japan and will expand over a period ofyears Telecommunication Systems Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will first become his secret friend The Poams then his salvation Archetypes of Thought then Virgin Exotica as they become adults together Verbotene Mission (Kings & Fools the love of his life The story is set during the Nara period of ancient Japan and will expand over a period ofyears Reading this book for the second time is such a different experience, and every bit as good as the first one, if not better Can t wait for the next book Or the next reread, whichever comes first DAt the end of my review of Kogitsune, I wrote4 stars because I needAs the saying goes, be careful what you wish for I gotI got so muchthat, ten days after finishing this book, I m still trying to get my fried brain cells to write something resembling a review Let s be realist Reading this book for the second time is such a different experience, and every bit as good as the first one, if not better Can t wait for the next book Or the next reread, whichever comes first DAt the end of my review of Kogitsune, I wrote4 stars because I needAs the saying goes, be careful what you wish for I gotI got so muchthat, ten days after finishing this book, I m still trying to get my fried brain cells to write something resembling a review Let s be realistic, that s not happening anytime soon Maybe after a few reread s , maybe never The great ones are always the most difficult to review for me The layered ones are even worse, and this is a layered one I feel like I ve only scratched the surface with my first read and I ll be going back forfor a long time Someone else will have to do justice to this gem Here are just some random thoughts.A word of advice before reading this book you should read Kogitsune first.It s set after Shinigami, but you should still read it first, there is a reason it s marked as the first in the series You might want to reread Kogitsune after you finish this I did , but that s another matter Read Kogitsune first It s short, it s free, and you won t regret it.Another word of advice if you re not familiar or if, like me, you are but it s been a while since you immersed yourself in it with Japanese culture, history, and mythology, you might need a moment or two to adjust to the setting, the times, and the names Don t let it scare you, there s a glossary at the end if you need it, but everything important is already explained in the book and I didn t have any problem following the story without it Although it s nice and interesting to have the additional info available, you won t necessarily need to consult it as you read.A last word of advice, mostly to my m m romance reader friends remember that this is a series, everything is connected and the journey isn t over yet Keep an open mind Regarding the book itself, what can I say It s not something that I m able to explain, you have to experience it.I could say it s adorable, romantic, heartbreaking, that the writing is beautifully evocative and the setting fascinating, that the historical facts and the fictional part of the story are mixed together perfectly I could also say that I fell in love with the characters especially two and I can t even say who they are becausespoilers , that this book made me smile, tear up, laugh, and wish I didn t have months to wait until the next one All of that would be true, but it still doesn t seem enough It s everything I ve got to offer at the moment, though, so it ll have to do.5 stars, but I still need I m going to be honest I have very different feelings for the first half of this book vs the latter half The first half details the life and experiences of Hirotsugu as he grows up as the heir to one of the wealthiest, and respected, families In contrast to those around him, particularly his family, he s very aware, and almost ashamed, of the divide that separates him from the poor, and this is reinforced by a chance encounter with a young beggar A chance encounter that happens not just a se I m going to be honest I have very different feelings for the first half of this book vs the latter half The first half details the life and experiences of Hirotsugu as he grows up as the heir to one of the wealthiest, and respected, families In contrast to those around him, particularly his family, he s very aware, and almost ashamed, of the divide that separates him from the poor, and this is reinforced by a chance encounter with a young beggar A chance encounter that happens not just a second time, but a third, thus sparking a friendship that would turn into a great love But I m getting ahead of myself.The first half of this journey is very heavy on the historical elements, the traditions, the myths if you love world building, if you love losing yourself in cultural descriptions, you will be overjoyed with the author s research and attention to detail I ll admit that while I did follow along and had a handy glossary, along with chapter header definitions to help out , I wasn t as engrossed by the history as I was the characters So while I wasn t bored, I wasn t fully immersed or on the edge of my seat in the early chapters It was easy to put down, even with the magical elements and the mystery surrounding this presence that ran parallel to the narrative Also I made the mistake of speculating a theory or two to a friend who had read this already and boy was I wrong But hey, I m owning up to it I recommend you try and throw some guesses around, too Ahem, anyway..And then the second half of the story happened and it was sweet and lovely and all of a sudden I was punched in the gut with feels and this time I was putting down the book so I could finish crying Which I did twice I definitely felt the strength of these characters near the end, the events felthigh stakes, with the added element of some melodrama to really get those emotions flowing As a bonus, much is revealed that is only teased throughout, and while some subsequent actions felt rushed or maybe a little unrealistic, you still feel it It still hurts And you re still blown away Readers who pick up the book one, KOGITSUNE, might be surprised, and confused, when they follow it up with SHINIGAMI only to realize it isn t a direct continuation And does, in fact, happen long after the events of book two But by the time you get to the end of this book, you ll understand why it s important, and necessary, to read first So go do that now.Overall, this is an experience unlike one I ve read before It s detailed, rich in history, magic and myth and folklore, it s about a forever love between two young men, and so muchAnd it s not over There sto come I cannot wait to see how these stories progress in book three.3.75 stars This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities Re read 04 11 2019 Welp I thought I was past the weeping phase when it comes to this book Guess not Shinigami is a special and unique book Not just the characters, but the storytelling itself And the author s prose is exceptional.The story takes place in Japan, it s culture and mythology is heavily embedded in the story, and surrounded by historical events Meaning, some things in this book happened in real life, though most of it is fiction.This is a love story But also Re read 04 11 2019 Welp I thought I was past the weeping phase when it comes to this book Guess not Shinigami is a special and unique book Not just the characters, but the storytelling itself And the author s prose is exceptional.The story takes place in Japan, it s culture and mythology is heavily embedded in the story, and surrounded by historical events Meaning, some things in this book happened in real life, though most of it is fiction.This is a love story But also a story of Becoming We are accompanying Hiro as he grows up and learns the ways of his clan, what was expected of him by his father and his clan, knowing he will be the next leader.Along the way Hiro meets someone who will become very important to him And his priorities might change It s a sweet, slow burn romance At least, that s how it starts, toward the end it will become quite angsty asandinformation comes to light.There s lots of things happening, mysterious things, and there were quite a few what the hell moments, but I m unwilling to say anything about the mythological part of the book, because I think it s something everyone has to experience themselves But if you enjoy fantasy paranormal books you will most likely enjoy this too.It s a very complex, captivating and engaging story, and I recommend it wholeheartedly But read Kogitsune first After giving us the beautifully quiet and atmosphericKogitsunethat must be read before moving on to this second instalment in herTakamagahara MonogatariXia Xia Lake raises the bar withShinigami,an astonishing combination of coming of age story, Japanese folklore, BL yaoi, history and legends.Constructed on and around four main characters, and with some surprising changes in the POV,Shinigamifollows the life of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu and his relationship with his powerful fami After giving us the beautifully quiet and atmosphericKogitsunethat must be read before moving on to this second instalment in herTakamagahara MonogatariXia Xia Lake raises the bar withShinigami,an astonishing combination of coming of age story, Japanese folklore, BL yaoi, history and legends.Constructed on and around four main characters, and with some surprising changes in the POV,Shinigamifollows the life of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu and his relationship with his powerful family and with the young Takahashi Ry But be warned This is just the very surface of a story that evolves in an extremely fascinating and complex way that left me breathless and truly astonished.The author combines historical facts, folklore and her own storyline in a totally seamless manner and the resulting experience is a full immersion in an arcane and suspended world where gods meet human, where yokai pop in and out of the scene and the emotional charge of the story is relentless and ever growingShinigamiis a truly wonderful novel, ending on the brink of the great events which will come in the future instalments of the Monogatari.Very highly recommended I don t know where to start, so let s start at the begginingWhen I read Kogitsune last year it came as a great surprise I picked it up because I needed some cheering up, and Japan and its culture never fails to me I read that short story and was fascinated with the vivid world it contained and its characters Since then I ve become friends with Xia Xia Lake, and when she asked me to beta read the second book in the Takamagahara Monogatari, I was delighted Shinigami is a complex and fascina I don t know where to start, so let s start at the begginingWhen I read Kogitsune last year it came as a great surprise I picked it up because I needed some cheering up, and Japan and its culture never fails to me I read that short story and was fascinated with the vivid world it contained and its characters Since then I ve become friends with Xia Xia Lake, and when she asked me to beta read the second book in the Takamagahara Monogatari, I was delighted Shinigami is a complex and fascinating tale Ancient Japan, its customs and mithology are so well portraited that through them you can inmerse yourself in the story without noticing it The characters are simply wonderful In Shinigami we follow Hirotsugu no Fujiwara a historical character, son of one of the most powerful families in ancient Japan in a tale with the perfect mix of facts and fiction A tale about how he awakes to the world and how that world changes him and the ones around him humans, yokais, ayakashis and kamis equally Maybe I m a bit biased knowing how much effort is behind these lines, how accurate to the period the narrative style is, how much care and love has been put into this book, but I highly recommend this story If you love fantasy, magic and Japan, you won t be dissapointed.Take a look at Elena s and Cristina s reviews, they have explain this much better RECENSIONE A CURA DI LADY MARMELADELe leggende giapponesi mi hanno sempre affascinato, ve l avevo gi detto dopo la lettura del primo breve capitolo di questa serie, che serviva da introduzione ai lettori al mondo magico, ricco di spiriti della natura e degli Idei figli del folklore e religione giapponese.I giapponesi oggi sono nella maggioranza buddisti, ma nell epoca in cui ambientato questo romanzo lo shintoismo la religione che viene seguita dalla popolazione, anzi si fa riferimento anch RECENSIONE A CURA DI LADY MARMELADELe leggende giapponesi mi hanno sempre affascinato, ve l avevo gi detto dopo la lettura del primo breve capitolo di questa serie, che serviva da introduzione ai lettori al mondo magico, ricco di spiriti della natura e degli Idei figli del folklore e religione giapponese.I giapponesi oggi sono nella maggioranza buddisti, ma nell epoca in cui ambientato questo romanzo lo shintoismo la religione che viene seguita dalla popolazione, anzi si fa riferimento anche a una furiosa guerra che si sta combattendo con chi vorrebbe far diventare il buddismo la nuova religione di stato Lo shintoismo una religione di natura politeista e animista nativa del Giappone cit da Wikipedia, quindi per farvela breve, e in minimi termini, l adorazione degli spiriti della natura che permea tutto il nostro mondo, che possono palesarsi agli esseri umani in forma di spirito, di oggetto, di animale, il quale pu anche assumere sembianze umane.Do per scontato che almeno una volta nella vostra vita avrete sicuramente visto qualche anime giapponese a tema fantasy derivante dalla loro tradizione popolare, oppure letto qualche manga Se penso a qualche titolo molto famoso, per darvi un idea, penso a Inuyasha, dove c una piccola volpe pestifera accanto al protagonista, che pu assumere forma animale ma anche umana.Il primo libro era davvero un antipasto, messo a disposizione gratuitamente dall autrice proprio per farci scoprire il mondo fantastico che lei ha creato partendo dalle leggende giapponesi Vi consiglio quindi di recuperare il primo libro, perch FONDAMENTALE per la lettura non voglio davvero farvi spoiler, quindi leggetelo e fidatevi di me Pochissime pagine che mi avevano conquistata, tanto che non vedevo l ora di leggere di pi.Non fatevi scoraggiare nemmeno dai termini giapponesi, perch troverete un bellissimo glossario che vi spiegher il significato di tali termini e che vi dar anche una piccola infarinatura del pantheon degli idei giapponesi, che nulla ha da invidiare a quelli greci per quanto riguarda tradimenti, incesti, vendette Sto pensando seriamente di prendere qualche libro sulle leggende giapponesi appena avr l occasione di andare in qualche libreria in citt , perch contengono una poesia mistica che ti fa venire voglia di saperne di pi.La storia che l autrice ci presenta antecedente al primo libro si svolge tanti anni prima e ha come protagonisti il giovane Hirotsugu, l erede designato del sanguinario clan dei Fujiwara, e il giovane mendicante Ry.I due ragazzi sono coetanei ma provengono da due mondi molto diversi Hiro ricco, non sa cosa vuol dire avere fame e i suoi vestiti sono di seta Ry coperto di stracci, alla perenne ricerca di un pugno di riso da portare al padre malato.Il breve incontro che i due avranno in mezzo alla neve cambier per sempre la loro vita, soprattutto quella di Hiro, che comincia a mettere in dubbio tutta la sua esistenza.Hiro destinato a succedere al padre, probabilmente si sposer con la cugina destinata a diventare imperatrice, ma l incontro sulla montagna con Inari Sama e i suoi Y kai, oltre che a quello con Ry , cambier le carte in tavola.Hiro sia coscienzioso che scavezzacollo spesso e volentieri fugge dal palazzo e vaga per la foresta il momento pi bello della sua giornata quello in cui viene a trovarlo un piccolo usignolo che mangia dalle sue mani, una creatura leggiadra dal canto melodioso, che si fida ciecamente di lui, ma che qualcuno gli porter viaTi senti in colpa per quello che accaduto S Non devi nella natura dell uomo essere violento ed nella natura degli spiriti essere pronti a perdonare, poich gli spiriti sono superiori L attenzione di Hiro era ancora rivolta al bocciolo, ma le parole di Inari si disposero nel profondo della sua anima, come dei piccoli semi Inari una presenza che veglia su Hiro sin dalla sua nascita, ma c anche qualcun altro che ha atteso la sua venuta al mondo, da circa tremila anni, che non vede l ora di palesarsi al ragazzo, ma che paziente e che sta tessendo la sua tela giorno dopo giorno Cosa vorr da Hiro Chi che prima lo spinge ad essere incosciente e poi corre a salvarloHai gli occhi di un dio, osserv Hiro, tutti gli shinigami hanno gli occhi d oro No Sei tu lo shinigami che ha fatto il patto con Kamatari questo quello che vuoi sapere gli chiesi, non sei pi curioso di conoscere il destino del ragazzo che amiA questo punto vi stasere chiedendo chi sono gli Shinigami, giusto Beh, gli Shinigami sono gli dei della morte, non La Morte raccolgono le anime dei morti perch vengano giudicate per come si sono comportate in natura e Hiro legato a loro da un doppio filoShinigami lasciami andare dove vanno le anime dei morti Lasciami riposare Permettimi di chiudere per sempre gli occhi Voglio raggiungere il posto in cui non esiste pi nulla Sono esausto Voglio dire il mio say nara Hiro e Ry vivono un appassionata storia d a che avr delle conseguenze sulla vita di chi gli sta intorno sono destinati ad amarsi tra mille difficolt , immersi nella natura pi pura e selvaggia che non far mancare mai loro i suo sostegno Rivedremo il piccolo Biko, conosceremo la sua origine e si capiranno molte cose Un romanzo appassionante e poetico, molto evocativo, tanto che mi sembrava di essere sclaza come Ry in mezzo alla neve, coperta solo di vecchi stracci che rifiuta l aiuto del suo giovane signore perch rischierebbe la morte se lo trovassero con addosso i vestiti preziosi Ry puro e innocente come la neve, delicato e bellissimo come il fiore di nadeshiko, l emblema dell ideale bellezza femminile, il fiore pi bello per Hiro, e che aspetter il suo Hiro per sempre.Hiro combattuto da quello che il padre vorrebbe da lui, ovvero portare avanti il loro clan alle spese dei poveri contadini sfruttati nei campi, lasciati a morire di stenti un giovane ragazzo che messo di fronte a una scelta crudele decide di rinunciare a tutto, alle ricchezze, alla fama, alla gloria per restare accanto alla persona che ama.Un romanzo struggente, che ti spezza il cuore nel finale, che ti lascia in un mare di lacrime, ma che subito dopo si trasformano in un sorriso dolce, perch tu ha gi letto cosa accadr e sai tutto andr come doveva essere, perchSono il ponte degli incontri e degli addii e delle strade che si separano Sono il gradino fra conoscenza e oscurit e il vento che strappa l erba e le foglie dell autunnoVisita il nostro blog e iscriviti per rimanere sempre aggiornata o This story It ripped me to shreds It would have been a hundred times worse if I didn t first read Kogitsune, but having done so it only made me cry for about 5 minutes Now I m gonna go and read Kogitsune again, because I have to Xia Xia Lake, you are a glorious storyteller Thank you This story It ripped me to shreds It would have been a hundred times worse if I didn t first read Kogitsune, but having done so it only made me cry for about 5 minutes Now I m gonna go and read Kogitsune again, because I have to Xia Xia Lake, you are a glorious storyteller Thank you I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.As someone who has studied the Japanese language for a while and who has been looking for queer historical fictional placed in medieval Japan and also as an avid reader of BL, albeit a very critical one, I am, in a sense very much the ideal reader for this particular novel On the other hand, for these same reasons, I ended up finding issue with it in ways that will surely not bother most readers.This places me in somewhat unc I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.As someone who has studied the Japanese language for a while and who has been looking for queer historical fictional placed in medieval Japan and also as an avid reader of BL, albeit a very critical one, I am, in a sense very much the ideal reader for this particular novel On the other hand, for these same reasons, I ended up finding issue with it in ways that will surely not bother most readers.This places me in somewhat uncomfortable situation as I am forced with the choice of either projecting myself into a general reader of sorts or of zeroing in on my particular impressions Ultimately, the middle way persevered I will strive to disentangle what may be pet peeves from a broader perspective It goes without saying that such methodological approaches are ultimately ideals and far from being realized be in this or any other review That is the nature of literary reception Leaving such caveats aside, this is overall a very well researched foray into the Nara period in Japan, one that I have always found fascinating because its literate aristocracy of administrators, very much modeled on the Chinese court, was ruled by a set of values that ended up dying a harsh death in a series of civil wars and eventually the centuries old Shogonate with its martial ruthlessness Which is not to say that Nara Heian periods were peaceful or at all wonderful for the general population, something that this novel addresses with great poignancy, but it came to represent an artistic time when courtesans ruled, court ladies were renowned for their intricate yet streamlined poems and contemplation was viewed as suitable topic all across the arts and letters Some of this is interwoven in this novel featuring Hirotsugu, an heir to the immensely powerful Fujiwara clan as the protagonist and sending him on a collusion route with the powers that be, Shinigami draws a portrait of the ruling classes with their elaborate rites, lavish palaces in which ancestor worship is very much central and cross references of myth that are both national and familial The actual clash is surprisingly spurious at first but it eventually coalesces around Hirotsugu s choosing as a partner a once beggar and then servant, Ryuu.Despite the disclaimer that the author issues in the forward, this novel is very much a romance It is the love story that carries on the plot and while it does take quite a while to develop, once it does it overtakes the narrative almost entirely This, in fact, was one of the problems I had with it, once the preliminary stages are cleared virtually all dialogue devolves into love declarations repeated with precious little variation That the cast is, never that vast to start with, is at that point narrowed down considerably, makes it evensalient as every other word is about how much Ryuu loves Hirotsugu and about how much Hirotusgu loves Ryuu.Fortunately the novel is not long enough for this cloying sweetness to become unbearable but it does hamper it somewhat A romance across different classes is very much political by default and that goes doubly so at a time when class stratification was sharply drawn and unrelentingly enforced on every and single level In making Hirotsugu s aware of the plight of the poor in the kingdom the novel engages in what is very much social criticism It is an element of realism that is greatly appreciated view spoiler The scene in which Hirotsugu is taken by his father to meet the bailiff and he gets to see the way in which the working class is deliberately kept in horrendous poverty all their lives is particular effective in this regard Unlike other fiction of the same vein Shinigami makes the very explicit the connection between the extreme luxury in which Hirotsugu was raised with the exploration, torture and occasional execution of those who toil in the fields hide spoiler With that said, this acute awareness of social relations is not entirely realized Ryuu speaks in such a manner that does not make much sense given his background He is unschooled as is to be expected yet expresses himself in almost the same way Hirotsugu does During the already mentioned amorous back and forth they could exchange lines without the reader even noticing it.Which brings me to the text itself Overall, Shinigami is competently written With that said it insists on adding random Japanese expressions in what smacks of fanfiction Despite a glossary at the end that explains the meaning of all this, their very presence in the narrative proper is something of a misstep There is no reason to say itai when ouch exists even worse are the entire sentences strung in Japanese and cobbled onto the English text While I could understand them or perhaps because I could understand them I found them immensely distracting Certain terms that are specific to the Japanese historical experience must be retained and I applaud the author for including them But when referring to idioms that have a perfectly valid counterpart in English it makes precious sense to default to the romaji forms of Japanese words.Which brings me to what I suspect only bothered me, namely, a certain lack of awareness of written Japanese Despitekanjibeing properly defined in the glossary as adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese written system , their dual existence as both carriers of meaning and aesthetic artifacts is never even alluded to Perhaps evenimportantly, the difficulty in mastering this complex system is never at all addressed and it very well might have been given that during the novel s timeline Hirotsugu learns how to write, an absolute privilege that was highly symbolic of the strict social hierarchy I would have liked the headings and chapter names to have contained the kanji and I will itemize them at the end of this review once I have some time as it would put the reader face to face with the characters themselves, even if very few would be able to actually read them But even that could help to understand the absolute disadvantage Ryuu as it d show, with great immediacy, just how difficult it is for the downtrodden to possibly reach any kind of social improvement Barred from accessing information, barred from working for as clerks in the growing government apparatus, they are destitute in no waysone.The novel is at best when it introduces its Japanese themes in asubtle way, as opposed to the already mentioned random Japanese lines For example, the very structure in which Shinigami is inscribed, with chapters clustered around the seasons, is very Japanese Literature about the transient nature of each season as well as about the particular charm of which is alluded to with grace A brief but very telling moment in which Hirotsugu s mother explains to him the importance of keeping face as well as the mention of monkeys falling from trees in a letter, a very common saying, are other discreet but very clever ways in which the novel sets itself in the Japanese living reality without forcing it Another way is, of course, the Shinto lore Here the novel excels as it manages to populate its spaces with fox spirits, kappa and the like even as it goes into the foundation myths of the nation These latter ones could be difficult to work into the narrative proper but they become very well assimilated via oral tradition This is still a society in which people tell old stories and memorize them so that having Hirotsugu tell Ryuu about certain myths is the ideal manner in which to show how these could be conveyed to the illiterate and also how they were very much experienced even by the reading classes As an aside, the author s references to early Japanese medieval periods are on point and deserve great praise Unfortunately, I found the conclusion somewhat lacking It is far too rushed, going over major events in a few lines and undercuts much of what I liked about what happened up to that point view spoiler I do not at all mind a story going against expectations, if anything I tend to embrace it as at least interesting, but I could not agree with trying to revert the main couple in the very final pages Not that I think that couples need to be a staple feature in fiction but when a novel spends virtually all of its resources into developing two characters in a relationship to then go, this is really about this character and this other character instead just strikes me as not exactly viable Had Susanoo actually interacted with Hirotsugu Kurama throughout the novelthan appearing when the plot requiring and disappearing when the plot required then it would have different To be fair, the development is not entirely sudden and has arguably been hinted at throughout the whole novel but the reader still gets to see precious little of this apparently central couple and by the time we are introduced to them as such, it is too little, too late Then the whole very convoluted curse and the millions of deaths necessary to bring back dead loved ones made me completely lose any sympathy whatsoever for the characters Again this would not be a problem if not for the fact that I believe the reader is expected to still like Hirotsugu after he killed a million people to bring back Ryuu I do not care how much love there is, you do not ever, ever, ever kill a million people for the sake of a single person If you do, you are a monster and no atoning my whole life will ever change that After building up a character who cared about the poor, to have him wholesale slaughter so many, does away with every bit of development Hirotsugu underwent In the afterword the author asks us not to view the novel as a tragedy because in Takamagahara no one actually dies but is merely transformed Sadly, the million victims who perished are very much dead and one wonders how many Ryuus there were in that number hide spoiler Overall, readers looking for a masterful take on real historical events mixed effortlessly with fantasy are very likely to be pleased with this one