Plot: A temple scribe's faith and heart are tested after his wife is killed during an attack by ruthless samurai; battling the darkness of both the Yomi and his soul, he must find a way to try and live again. Setting out on a journey for revenge, he bonds with the untouchables, a group of outcasts trying to reclaim the throne from usurpers--along the way, he encounters demons both inside and out, and grapples with the meaning of life, death, and love.
Prose/Style: Wilson's prose is descriptive and engaging as he inserts the reader deftly into the world of 1180 Japan. Reality, fantasy, legend, and myth blend seamlessly to create a narrative that is creative and fun to read.
Originality: Wilson's tale of a temple scribe on a journey to avenge his wife may not seem very original on the surface--however, the setting, details, characters, and humor set it apart. Ultimately, the underlying themes are both relatable and original.
Character Development/Execution: The characters are well-developed and interesting, and their relationships add depth to the story. Shindara and Mikoto's relationship is especially powerful, as they seem to have a bond that transcends time.
Date Submitted: April 05, 2021
After losing his wife and unborn child in a siege, Shindara attempts to guide his wife’s spirit to the next realm by meddling with a force he doesn't understand: the Yomi, the world of darkness. Consequently, he begins to fade away while his soul is consumed by the darkness. However, before he fades away completely, Shindara vows not to rest until he slays the man who had his wife killed. As he embarks on his mission, he meets a group of bandits and makes friends with a hilarious but ferocious man and a highly driven and lethal woman. Will Shindara complete his mission before he completely loses himself to the darkness of the Yomi? Set in 1180, Obsidian Wraith by Nathan Wilson and S. E. Nin is a wonderful mix of Japanese history and dark fantasy.
Obsidian Wraith would be amazing as a movie! I can imagine the costumes of the samurais and monks, the action-packed scenes with the swords flying in all directions, and the enhanced dark ability of the protagonist. The book is fully engaging, fast-paced, and jam-packed with different things that make it a rich and comprehensive experience: laugh-out-loud humor, an interesting display of friction and camaraderie between the characters, profound comments that make you think deeply, poetic lines, impressive metaphors, and well-developed characters. Additionally, Nathan Wilson and S. E. Nin include some frightening elements in their story, like spiders with horns and aquatic demons. In short, I enjoyed every bit of Obsidian Wraith. Readers who enjoy dark fantasy, Japanese-themed storylines, and books about sacrifice and fighting against corruption would love it.