Storyteller and scroll-painter Fumito has been forced by his paranoid and homicidal uncle, daimyo Kotoheisei, to track down a young woman named Sakura who bears the destructive god of fire imprisoned in a tattoo on her back. At stake is Fumito's family, who will be brutally tortured and executed if he cannot capture her. Yet when he finally finds Sakura and her rescuer, thStoryteller and scroll-painter Fumito has been forced by his paranoid and homicidal uncle, daimyo Kotoheisei, to track down a young woman named Sakura who bears the destructive god of fire imprisoned in a tattoo on her back. At stake is Fumito's family, who will be brutally tortured and executed if he cannot capture her. Yet when he finally finds Sakura and her rescuer, the imposing but shy priestess Ikuko, he decides to help them escape rather than turn them over to his uncle, who will use the fire god's power for terror and slaughter. The fate of Fumito's family is sealed, but that is a price he desperately hopes he can live with. When an ancient artifact merges Sakura with the god, granting her control over fire and the magma that is the very lifeblood of the world, she resolves to repay Fumito's sacrifice by saving his family and defeating his uncle. But Sakura does not realize the full extent of her power and her rescue mission may end up hurting more people than it saves. And eventually her actions will bring her, Fumito and their companions into a confrontation with the creatures of the underworld whose dark magic is responsible for Sakura's transformation....
|Title||:||At Yomi's Gate|
|Number of Pages||:||372 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
At Yomi's Gate Reviews
At Yomi's Gate is a big fantasy novel set in mythical ancient Japan. The story has some firm foundations in authentic folk legends. The first thing you should probably know is that "Yomi" is the ancient Japenese land of the dead. It's something like a gloomy limbo where the dead go before being reborn into their next life. Another word worth knowing before you begin is "Yokai" - an umbrella term for folkloric supernatural monsters and demons. There is rather a lot of Yokai in this book.The story traces the adventures of five key characters as they battle with the nefarious Lord Kotoheisei. Fumito is an artist whose family are held hostage. Sakura is a young servant girl who is possessed by the terrifying fire god (known as the Batsu-no-Kaji). Ikuko is a tough priestess who can communicate with the spirit world. Yoko is the younger sister of Fumito and handy with a naginata (a big old stick with a blade on the end). Takashi is a member of the underclass who surprises everyone with his technical skills and knowledge of medicine.(Note: some spoilers follow but not too many).The chief obstacle the heroes face is the truly evil Lord Kotoheisei. Kotoheisei is essentially a fascist ruler known for torturing and killing his own people. He conducts arcane experiments on various innocent victims in order to summon demons which he hopes to use in the fight against neighbouring rulers. Yes, this is a fantasy novel which wanders deep into horror territory. The most important of his experiments involves trapping the Batsu-no-Kaji in the body of the young vulnerable Sakura. As the story progresses we see Sakura eventually begin to control the incredible powers of the fire god. She becomes something like the Firestarter (think Stephen King) or possibly the Human Torch (Marvel comics).Aside from the supernatural horror you can also find a bit of romance going on in this novel. There's even a love triangle that forms around Ikuko. Sometimes I felt the action scenes whipped by too fast for my liking. I had to re-read sections to understand what was going on. I was slightly frustrated by the Japanese vocabulary at first, but then I discovered there was a very useful glossary in the back of the book. I liked this novel a lot. I don't read a lot of the fantasy genre, but my sense is that this one is exceptionally crafted. The setting is extremely original, and the production etc is very professional. Possibly the characters at times behaved a little inconsistently, but mostly I thought they were very well done.I am not terribly well versed in Japanese mythology - for me the closest reference points were manga movies. I was reminded of, for example, Ninja Scroll, and Legend of the Overfiend. I would love to see Yomi's Gate made into an animated movie, although of course it's far too long for just one film and probably need to be a twelve part series.Check it out!
This book is written in a very unique style. I was unfamiliar with the author and went into it without high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. It is expressed as it would be if a Japanese person with a thick accent would narrate in English. The book is highly detailed and descriptive. It is an exceptionally good fantasy story line. If you enjoy fantasy I believe you will enjoy this.
The mythology of this book, based in ancient Japanese folklore, was very unique and at times overwhelming. It was definitely a very welcome break from our usual Euro-centric folklore of goblins, elves, ogres, and dragons. When I started this book, it held me spellbound (although I found Lord Kotoheisei far too barbaric for my enjoyment--was any Japanese warlord this evil in ancient times--and how come his son, who shares his last name, is called Lord Masaru, but his father is not called Lord Nobutaka, which is his first name?). Then near the one-third point of the book, without giving too much away, let's say that this is the point where a warlord's castle is largely destroyed by fire, I truly thought it was over, and was wondering why there was still about two-thirds of the book left to go. Having read all the way to the end, I now think the book should have ended at that point. There was a lull after, as friends and enemies recuperate, and then a few more battles. I was baffled by the choices by the five main characters... mostly why they, especially the poor tormented Sakura, would ever put themselves in the position of returning to the sphere of influence of the truly despicable, horrible Lord Kotoheisei. After the castle has burned down, Sakura does so in a major way that I won't reveal here, and even another of the five main characters, Takashi, offers his services to the entourage that formerly praised Lord Kotoheisei, even after he was freed. I felt the five main characters would have had the wisdom to put the past behind them, and seek an entirely new life free of the gut-wrenching past.There were an awful lot of flashbacks, tormented dreams, and encounters with spirits of the dead that do not significantly move the book forward. While I enjoyed and savoured how the five main characters rests and deepened their bonds of friendship, sometimes I felt that these added to the uneven pacing of this book. Indeed, had the book simply ended when the castle burned down, I would have enthusiastically given this book full ranking. The events that occurred after could be spun off into a sequel and with tighter pacing and perhaps culling the awkward slowdowns, dream sequences, and distractions by the paranormal that appear just once in the story, and the two-thirds of the book at the end could have made for a compelling sequel, although I would have wondered why Lord Masaru and Lord Kotoheisei would still be around past their usefulness to the story. Find a new villain, I would say! Maybe another cunning warlord who doesn't need barbaric practices, but knows how to trick the enemy?This book has many amazing anecdotes that thrilled me (although I could have done without the sheer horror of some scenes). The paranormal creatures that appear, such as the fire demon and the squid god, were refreshing and awesome. I loved the concept of how magic is created by Fumito as an artist, how delusions leap off from his drawings and entrance his audience. Fumito was the happy warrior, the one who made me smile at times in this book. I also liked the statuesque woman priest, Ikuko, and her unwavering conviction. One nagging doubt for me was that none of the five major characters would normally have the drive to endure the catastrophic and traumatic events that confronted them all throughout this story. They lack the ambition and the lust for power; they are dragged into the consequences created by this bloodthirsty and cruel warlord. That makes them reluctant heroes, which is why I wonder if the book should be made shorter. Nonetheless, in terms of sheer energy and creativity, and uniqueness, this book is highly recommended.
Fan of Cassandra Clare? She’s about the only paranormal urban fantasy author whose books I enjoy. What if this genre went to samurai era Japan? You’d have At Yomi’s Gate. Sakura, Fumito, and Yoko are embroiled in a warlord plot at control. He tortures, maimes, and murders all who have betrayed him. Including his own family. The warlord has captured a fire demon and yields the supernatural force as a military weapon. What a great story! I’ve encountered plenty of werewolves, vampires (both goth and glittery), and witches. Never in my urban fantasy travels have I come across half centipede half women. The setting reminded me of the anime Ninja Scroll, one of my favorites. There were great examples of social class clashes and our heroes struggled up and down the social ladder as they fall out of the warlord’s favor. I would recommend this book for late teens and adults. Some of the violence and sex may lead to awkward questions and google searches for younger readers. I found the scenes tastefully done and complimentary to the plot. If you enjoy historical fiction, urban fantasy, anime, or detailed world building this book is for you.I ran into John on Goodreads and read the blurb about his book. Then I bought the ebook from Amazon.I enjoyed the character development between the five primary characters in this multiple point of view story. We learn about them through their interaction with one another and well as their decisions under duress. Like meeting someone and getting to know them, a few of the characters seemed strange for the beginning of the book, but became familiar and trustworthy after multiple visits.Sakura is a cool character. I don’t want to spoil anything, but to be connected to a fire demon would really make the human experience an interesting one. She probably had the roughest start in life, but that builds character, right?
Disclaimer:I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.This is an amazing story that kept me enthralled and reading well into the night.The audience follows a band of unlikely heroes — a tiny woman who'd been abused most of her life, a story-teller who is also Byronic (IMHO), an uncommonly tall priestess, and a woman with a massive chip on her shoulder. There is also an outcast. a person considered filthy and beneath everyone else, who can't read but has taught himself how to be a doctor. While Fumito (the story-teller) is my favorite character, all of the characters warmed up to me after a while.One of the things that I loved about this novel is that the author was not afraid to put his characters through life-altering events. This resulted in a read where I felt anything could happen. I didn't feel like any of the characters were safe, and this guaranteed that I stuck with the novel.I don''t want to go into too much detail so as not to spoil this, and I think the author's blurb does more than enough to relay the story. I will say that there were a number of fascinating concepts/minor plots brought up and I am still upset that they weren't elaborated on. For instance, there was a plot line concerning ten liars. By the end, I had enough of an understanding of who the ten liars were and why they deserved to be punished as they were, but I did want to hear more about the tenth liar and why he was kept in the particular manner depicted in the novel. But these few questions were not enough to keep me from enjoying the novel. Besides, I have a strong feeling that these were threads to connect in later books, which would help create a rich world.The novel is set with multiple point-of-views, so the readers are able to get to know multiple characters and receive information that would not have been available had there only been one point-of-view. So while I typically shy away from novels with rotating POVs, I thoroughly enjoyed this with no issues.The writing style is smooth and easy to read. All in all, I can't wait for the next installment! This has landed on my must-read list at kcgray (dot) com.