The Sage the Swordsman and the Scholars are Book The Sage the Swordsman and the ScholarsI received a copy of this book from Pierre in exchange for an honest review Thank you Something Diff
The Sage, the Swordsman and the Scholars are Book The Sage, the Swordsman, and the ScholarsI received a copy of this book from Pierre in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!Something DifferentThe thing that really had me hooked on this book and invested me in its out-come was the setting. SSS (as I’m going to call it, for the sake of my fingers) is a work of really exciting fantasy that takes place in China during the reign of the Ming Dynasty. The book follows multiple perspectives, that of the swordsman, Sun Xin, some ‘academicians’, and a sage (sort of like a spiritual healer). All of their stories are connected although they may not realise it. Foreigners (the Terukk) have landed all over the empire and have demanded (and received) equal trading rights - something that no foreigner is ever granted. And this is where fantasy enters the stage. They’re very strange looking and our protagonists are slowly becoming more suspicious of them as time goes by. Why? Because it becomes apparent that something else is going on and they are not what they first appeared to be.Fun FactsPierre was kind enough to share some facts about this period with me so I would like to share some of them with you! Sun Xin, the swordsman, is based off a Youxia (a wandering warrior). There were many of these during this time and they were also extremely skilled in fighting and whatnot. Sun Xin doesn’t really ‘answer’ to anyone - he’s like a freelance, fighting for who and what he believes in. Throughout the book he picks and chooses his fights and the whole book acts as a sort of self discovery journey for him as he wrangles through the rights and wrongs of fighting. There were also many secret societies that existed in Medieval China. This is reflected in the book as there are a great deal of organisations along the way. Which of course adds to the serious coolness of the characters as they swish their swords and the slay the enemy is a awe inspiring ninja monk way.Admiral Jheng (one of the prominent characters in the book) was actually based off a real person. He was exploring long before Da Gama and Colombus and also had enormous treasure ships - something that somewhat comes into play throughout the book with one particularly loud and funny character, but I’ll leave him for you to discover.The weapons we see in the book are based off field equipment used by the Mings. Japanese pirates were a real threat to the coastlines by the 16th century, many of which were former Samurai which made them tough competition (I told you there was cool ninja monk action). “Ming” actually means “bright” or “shining” - and the dynasty lasted from 1368 until 1644. In other words, a long time. Emperor Zhu was one of the very few emperors who refused to have concubines. He was only 21 years old when the events of the book take place.What I EnjoyedThis book was a lot of fun to read! I need to start with saying that the COOLEST thing about this was the fact that it's set in a different setting to the 'norm' - medieval China! I mean, how often does that happen? I think it was well paced and filled with just the right amount of battle scenes. The swapping of perspectives worked well and helped to keep things lively - it avoided any too slow moments (and a lot of the characters go on long walks to different places, the downside of not having cars, eh?), so thank goodness for that. The characters were a lot of fun to meet and read about and although I failed miserably to remember everyone’s names and who was who I managed. I may have had to draw myself diagrams to do so, however. Each character was unique and there’s a huge variety of personalities. It allowed for humour and more serious moments to go back to back with smooth transitions thanks to this diverse cast of people - and thank goodness for that, because if I had to chose one word to describe Sun Xin, I’d go with broody. The fight scenes were by far my favourites parts of the book. There was just enough fantastical elements in the story to allow for some really cool stuff to happen during the battles. Nothing was overdone when it came to fantasy, sure the foreigners were a little weird - but any magic seemed to fit right in as it came across as more of a divine power from good/bad gods than just special people going ALAKAZAM. The battles were grand in scale and involved this not-magic that helped weave in a religious presence without making it overpowering. Sun Xin was amazing whenever he fought seeing as he has amazing sword skills. It would be amazing to see this book turn into a film. Actually, I think this would make a splendid TV series - anyone in?I can’t waiting to continue reading the series and so much has been set up for an epic story to unfurl. the home of the Terukk was really interesting to learn about - the part of my brain that just loves fantasy started hyperventilating when we got a glimpse of that world. I really want to know what their big plan is seeing as they were slowly mind washing the population into submission with the drug they were giving everyone. WHY ARE YOU SO EVIL? I’m super intrigued by it all and I really want to see where the story is going to go from here.Some of my Favourite Quotes:"Even if one bridge is far longer than the other, it is naught if it cannot reach the other side.""After all, what is darkness but the mere absence of light?"SummaryI am very pleased to have had the chance to read this book. It really was interesting and a lot of fun. I hope that the rest of the series, which I will be reading, follows suit. You should definitely pick up a copy of this book as it is worth reading!! If you enjoy fantasy, action, or history then this is your JAM. Happy reading!. When enigmatic nonhuman visitors arrive from the sea, the very foundations of the Middle Kingdom are under attack The evil agenda of these invaders sparks a massive war that will determine the fate of the Ming dynasty and the nations beyond A legendary swordsman allies himself with a banished Shaolin monk, a defeated bandit chieftain, a carefree Mongolian merchant, and aWhen enigmatic nonhuman visitors arrive from the sea, the very foundations of the Middle Kingdom are under attack The evil agenda of these invaders sparks a massive war that will determine the fate of the Ming dynasty and the nations beyond A legendary swordsman allies himself with a banished Shaolin monk, a defeated bandit chieftain, a carefree Mongolian merchant, and an unknown philosopher who knows the only hope for victory Together, this band of misfits strives to be proven worthy of the impossible task before them, even finding themselves at the Emperor s doorstep Determined to combat the invaders initial offensives, they must also help the Ming Army repel countless internal enemies who have rallied to bring down the mighty Ming dynasty.. The best Books The Sage, the Swordsman and the Scholars Well. That went quick! Here we go;In my view, there are four main elements needed to have a successful novel. 1st, and most importantly is a good plot, which this book mist certainly has. It is complex, moves at a good pace and really keeps you turning (or scrolling) the pages. This is the books strongest point. 2nd, a book needs well thought out and interesting characters, here the book falls a little short. The basis is there for the characters, their backgrounds are well thought out and their motives are clear, they fit into the plot well but they lack a bit of personality. I don't feel as if I know them very well and the relationships aren't as dynamic as they could be. There needs to be more dialogue between the characters in order to build these relationships and in order to help us as the reader to really enter the minds of the characters and be taken along in the story *with* them, rather than the narrator telling us about their thoughts and feelings. This is obviously a matter of taste. Some authors in the sci-fi genre have a grander style that focuses more on national identities, and less on the individual personalities of the characters. I think the fantasy genre is more interested in the individual's journey through life and how the world changes them and their world view. The author here shows more influences from that sci-fi perspective when it comes to characterisation. 3rd is a good setting, or world. This is another very strong point of the novel. The setting is rather unique, I haven't seen many books set in mediaeval China. The setting is very well researched and so is the history that goes with it. The imagery of ancient and mediaeval China is great too.4th is the action. A good story needs plenty of action in my opinion. This novel does well in the battle scenes, very detailed and complex. Reminds me of the great battles in LOTR and Terry Brooks' novels, but lacks in other parts. There is a lack of tension in the individual fight scenes and they are over too quickly. Perhaps more detail about fighting styles, more of a build up, and more of a reason behind some of them, rather than just plain robberies or brawls. The rating then, goes like this. one full star each for points 1 & 3. half a star each for points 2&4. I usually award the fifth star to books that generally have touched me emotionally or that have completely changed my outlook on life, which is a rather rare thing and (if you look at my average rating) I don't award frequently. Alas, this novel doesn't do that. Overall I enjoyed reading this novel and once I had got past the info dump in the first 10% of the book, it became very pleasurable to read. I'm definitely looking forward to the (spoiler) demon generals in the next novel. It is on the short side and if the author does decide to revise, means that there is plenty of room to reach all that potential.