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A Samurai is never too old for Honor

By Shaeor, author of Chosen Shackles

Jun 9, 2019: Early chapter spoilers.

Fuji follows a middle aged man named Kenshi. This man clearly has had an important role in past history, and it would seem his time is not yet done. As we enter into the story, Kenshi is there to witness a small boy violently transform. Though seemingly a nobody on his way through the market, Kenshi is quickly revealed through his ties to the shogunate, in the wake of this monstrous transformation, to have been a past political player. He is thus not treated very nicely in the court.

We see that the land is sunless and monsters stalk the dark, waging an eternal war against humanity. And now we find out that those monsters are infecting humans? Cue imprisonment and the plot has got itself rolling, pulling Kenshi back into the war. Well that’s that. We have the setup for a great quest!

I’ve been following the story since the start. This means that I have seen Admiral’s notable improvement as a writer (including a strong rewrite of the first five chapters), and I can vouch for his potential. Though the story is not yet done, my review could be summarized just by this: I am genuinely excited to see it through.

Fuji has a solid aesthetic and always paints a pretty picture in my mind’s eye. It’s a snowy, fuedal japan, with all the colorful and cliched beauty. Its characters, with their mannerisms and dialogue being well described, are interesting and entertaining to follow. Sometimes they can be a little hard to track and make sense of, but overall, they are distinct.

The author has been largely consistent but, including both the break for rewrites and others, he does sometimes miss an update. I feel confident the story will be completed regardless, but I would appreciate the same criticism of my own work. Consistency is king, as they say.

Now! Any major flaws? Things can sometimes meander. There may have been one or two unnecessary chapters spent at camp when the plot could have been moving along. Though they were utilized for character building, the plot has, overall, suffered from a small degree of directionlessness, as Kenshi is swept along just to survive. While it has become apparent later on in the story that Kenshi has a mission of personal significance that we can root for, at first he is merely afloat on the wind. But perhaps this is fitting for a first act? All that matters is that he is, you guessed it, going to regain his honor! If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a solid redemption arc.

I give the story a mechanical rating of 3.5, with emphasis on the fact that a 2.5 is what I would consider a solidly written book on a technical level, including prose and whatnot. Anything below is actively unreadable. What I list on my actual review-rating is the amount I would recommend this story, among all others. This is more subjective and based in the credit that I give to its uniqueness and world. 4/5. Keep up the good work.

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