Kojiro by Khalil A Barnett - Book review

Published 07 Jun 2023
by Anca Antoci

Title: Kojiro
Author: Khalil A Barnett
Released: 15.11.2022
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Our review:
5.00 (read)

Khalil Barnett's "Kojiro" delves into the intricacies of blurred boundaries between reality and imagination, history and myth, and fact and fiction. This enthralling sword & sorcery fantasy novel draws inspiration from potent Asian myths and legends, captivating readers with its rich tapestry of storytelling.

At the heart of the narrative is Coletrane Marx, a scion of old wealth and deeply entrenched in family traditions centered around archaeology. During his childhood, Coletrane manifested a tulpa—a "thought form". However, this creation, known as Kojiro, takes a sinister turn when it violently claims the lives of Coletrane's parents, appearing before them in a demonic form. Fueled by this tragedy, Coletrane dedicates his life to mastering martial arts, preparing himself to confront the adult Kojiro. To his astonishment, he discovers that the "real" Kojiro exists independently of his imagination, possessing his own past, traumas, and hailing from a world steeped in an alternate, fantastical feudal history. Far from being a mere emblem of childhood guilt, Kojiro becomes a complex consciousness intertwined with Coletrane in ways that hold global consequences.

Barnett masterfully weaves cultural elements into the world-building and character development, immersing readers in a vivid and authentic realm. The prose flows effortlessly, carrying the reader through a well-paced narrative where tension consistently crackles beneath the surface. The atmospheric storytelling leaves a lasting impression, effectively drawing readers into the enchanting world of "Kojiro."

With its profound exploration of Asian mythology, martial arts and samurai culture, this book is a must-read for fantasy enthusiasts. "Kojiro" caters to those with a passion for immersive storytelling and an ardent interest in the rich tapestry of Asian folklore.

*graphic art by Madison Meyer





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