DiscoverHistorical Fiction

In the Realm of Ash and Sorrow

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Poetic writing and a beautiful, heart-wrenching plot that will leave you thinking about this book long after you've finished it.

I’m so in love with this book. It was beautifully written and it broke my heart approximately 18 different times while I was reading it. The concept and storyline are so unique and all of the characters, down to the minor ones, are well-rounded. The reader also gets the opportunity to be immersed in the world of Japanese folklore, afterlife, and customs as they follow the characters' journeys. The author is a supremely talented writer whose writing is able to take on a sort of lyrical and soothing quality, even when describing horrific scenes. It's extraordinary to me that he was able to take something as brutal as the reality of war-torn Hiroshima and craft it into an incredible love story with overarching themes of courage, tolerance, and forgiveness.


I read a lot of books that have action scenes and the main characters always manage to wiggle out of the path of certain death despite how dismal the odds may seem. Obviously, I knew that Micah would be dead in this book, as it states as much in literally the first sentence of the blurb, but it was really something else to read a book where the main character dies in the first chapter. I don't think I've ever read a story like this; either the main character is alive throughout the entire book or they've died off-screen before the story even starts.


This is a fantastic book for those of you who like historical fiction, WWII-centric literature, or just want to read a wonderfully written story that will rip your still-beating heart straight out of your chest. This is the type of book where you'll finish it and then stare at the wall for 20 minutes, contemplating your existence. It will haunt you (in the best way possible) long after you turn that last page.


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'Your heart beats strong for a dead man.'
'That's because you make it so.'

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About the author

Kenneth W. Harmon lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife and daughters. The award winning author of four novels, he is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Japan-America Society of Colorado, and Historical Writers of America. view profile

Published on August 01, 2020

Published by

100000 words

Genre: Historical Fiction

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