Review: Dragon Sword and Wind Child – Noriko Ogiwara

Dragon Sword and Wind ChildIn the land of Toyoashihara, the forces of the God of Light and the Goddess of Darkness have waged war for generations. But for 15-year old Saya, the war is far away and unimportant–until the day she discovers she is the reincarnation of the Water Maiden and a princess of the Children of the Dark. Raised to love the Light and detest the Dark, Saya must come to terms with her heritage even as she is tumbled into the very heart of the conflict that is destroying her country. Both the army of the Light and Dark seek to claim her, for she is the only mortal who can awaken the legendary Dragon Sword, the weapon destined to end the war. Can Saya make the dreadful choice between the Light and Dark, or is she doomed like all the Water Maidens who have come before her?

I’m so happy that I read Dragon Sword and Wind Child and would never have done so if it hadn’t been for Asian Lit Bingo. The prompt was to find a book that had been translated into English, and I decided that I wanted to read a fantasy book. Dragon Sword and Wind Child is a Japanese-mythology inspired fantasy story that had been written in Japanese. One of my favourite fantasy book themes are dark vs. light, so this immediately spoke to me. I was also very intrigued by the Water Maiden aspect.

It’s #ownvoices.

Saya is just 15-years-old when she ends up having to deal with a lot more than she bargained for, thus she doesn’t always act responsibly. I thought that the author did a great job in capturing the mindset of a teenager.

I think this is one of the books that will be even more beautiful after a reread because there are so many small details that one might have overflown during the first read. At least, that is what I assume, and this book is for sure going on my reread pile.

The romance is very sweet in this novel, and I especially liked how slow-moving it was and that a strong friendship and trust was established before the couple itself was established. It’s very romantic to read about.

If I could ever have a superpower, I would choose to be able to transform into other living beings. There’s one sequence in this book that describes one of the character’s feelings and experiences, when they turn into a mouse and it is awesome. This is one of the most creative subjects that I think a writer can write about, because it demands a lot of creativity to imagine how a different living being experiences the world we live in and how it is different and similar to how a human being experiences the world.

One beautiful passage in this book that I recommend taking time to read is the passage where the idea of an apology is explained. Words are very important to me personally, so this was especially lovely for me to read. Another passage that I loved is where one of the characters takes another to show them a field of flowers, instead of picking the flowers and giving the character a bouquet. I don’t like bouquets because the flowers end up dying, so I thought that this was so sweet!

The title is very intriguing, as in retrospect it gives you a taste for what the book will be about, however, I didn’t pay much attention to it until after reading the book.

One criticism that I have is that we don’t find out much about her past life, especially her relationship with the Moon God. Her past relationship was a focal point of the story, however, we never got to know what exactly had happened so many years ago.

Dragon Sword and Wind Child is a very intriguing and detailed fantasy novel. I recommend it to all of you.

This book certainly showed me that I shouldn’t be just focussed on upcoming and hyped books (which are usually written in English), but also take some time to look for books that have been translated from other languages. There is such a vast library of books that is out there and just waiting to be unlocked, but sadly we don’t always have the correct language key for the library.

Trigger warnings: suicide.

4 stars

Have you read Dragon Sword and Wind Child? Do you know of any other translated fantasy novels that aren’t that well-known in the blogger world and that you’d like to recommend to me?


3 thoughts on “Review: Dragon Sword and Wind Child – Noriko Ogiwara

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