The Spirit of a Rising Sun


Loved it! 😍

A Game of Thrones-esque fantasy with complex characters, unfolding mysteries, and high adventure on land and sea!

The Spirit of a Rising Sun, by K. R. Galindez, is a Game of Thrones–style fantasy adventure maintaining a brisk pacing of action and intrigue within a well-built story world full of rich detail.

The (s)hero of the story is Oyza, daughter of a minister and main foil for the villainess, Liviana, an ambitious warrior-ruler known as Blacklance. At the opening of the story, Oyza is in a dungeon and Liviana is the reason.

In the dungeon, Oyza meets Yars, a thief and witchdust addict with a taste for rum (think Disney’s Aladdin for adults). Yars is the charming, reluctant hero archetype, the drunken rogue whom the heroine with high ideals slowly molds into shape in time for the big battle.

The world of the book is rich and complex, with its own book titles, oaths, different ages and epochs, and snippets of languages and songs. The countries are all at war with one another or uneasy allies, and their ministers and priests are each making political power moves within the countries themselves. There is a priestly class called the Celesterium on one end of the spectrum and on the other a mead-drinking Viking-like group called the Men without Gods. The locales have familiar, evocative names like Goldfall, the Emerald Isles, and the Shimmering Woods. The “Shimwood,” as its fifty thousand inhabitants call it, recalls Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest. Called The Ungoverned, these rebels are a main target of those who prefer everyone to be under their yoke.

It would not be fantasy without knights and other warriors, and Galindez provides them aplenty, with knights like Sir Yirig, Liviana’s chief bodyguard who reminds me of the Mountain and Hound from Game of Thrones. Another interesting character is Captain Seralus, commander of the ship Chandelier Lover, who reminds me of Captain Shakespeare in the film adaptation of Stardust.

As you would also expect from fantasy, we follow multiple storylines that steadily converge for the Act Three climax, which leaves things nicely open-ended for a sequel.

One of my favorite aspects of The Spirit of a Rising Sun is that it revolves around family lineages, some of which remain secret through most of the book. Members of families reunite, forsake and betray one another, and otherwise provide micro storylines that undergird and personalize the fantasy-trope macro ones.

If you love fantasy, this book should be on your reading list.

Reviewed by

I am a writer, writing teacher, and story analyst. I have 6 published novels, and 2 nonfiction books, available on Amazon (Joey Madia). I review books for several publicists and review sites. 332 published reviews.

About the author

Kyle Galindez lives in Santa Cruz, California where he is pursuing a PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys reading and writing epic fantasy. When he's not writing, he's exploring beaches or gaming. view profile

Published on September 05, 2021

Published by Authors 4 Authors Publishing

120000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Fantasy

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