Monday, October 12, 2020

Book Review - "Sword of Sorrow, Blade of Joy" by JF Lee

This delightful read has rekindled my love for wuxia/fantasy. I was a childhood fan of Jin Yong's famous martial arts novels and the parallel universe (called "jianghu", literally meaning rivers and lakes) that he so masterfully created. It's a fantastical world where wrongs are arduously righted by super-skilled swordsmen whose mission is to uphold justice.

JF Lee's evenly paced debut novel is filled with deftly described tension-filled fight scenes as well as philosophical musings about duty, guilt and redemption. It also subtly explores the meaning of life and death, while the intricate plot glides along with fluidity and playfulness. The writing is suffused with humor and warmth. The novel is as much a great escape from the present unsettling times as it is an invitation for us to look deeper into our own souls to find our raison d'être.

This novel is the first in a series, and the sequel looks most promising.

I'm giving it four full stars.

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