Author: Keith Yatsuhashi
Star rating: 4/5
So what’s it about?
Kojiki is the incredibly detailed and fast paced story of revenge, love and redemption. We follow Keiko, a young girl fulfilling her father’s last request:
Go to Japan in my place.
Find the Gate.
Your camera will show you the way.
With this strange request, Keiko’s whole life - her past, present and her destiny - is irrevocably changed. She stumbles upon a seemingly impossible truth: Kami –great spirit gods- exist, and they are about to enter into a battle that could destroy the world as she knows it.
Love it or hate it?
This is a beautifully descriptive story that interlaces many of the origin myths and folklores. Whilst primarily focusing on the Japanese myths, Yatsuhashi expands this to include elements of the Norse, Celtic and Middle Eastern traditions. The result is a charmingly woven story that captures the imagination and encourages the reader to learn more about these traditional stories and beliefs.
The settings and characters are also described in such detail that the reader connects to them in such a way that you really feel their struggle to come to terms with what they must do. Their sacrifices, love, bonds, loyalties, betrayals, friendships and lessons are ours too.
The pace of this novel is set early - and it is fast. From the very first chapter the reader is thrown into the unknown along with our primary protagonist Keiko. Much like Keiko, it can take a breath or two for the reader to find their feet. Mystical creatures, multiple dimensional worlds, battles and dramatic escapes are all upon you within the first few pages and from then on it only gets faster. It is only by the time you reach the second third of the novel that you really begin to establish who everyone is and what is happening. If Yatsuhashi’s intention was to keep us on our toes and make us truly empathise with Keiko then he achieves this because we only settle into the story after Keiko learns the truth of who she is and what is happening around her. After this point the tale becomes a smooth - yet epic – battle to save not only the world but the mind and heart of a fallen comrade.
Despite struggling to settle into the story at first I found this a magical tale. The best accolade I can give this book is to say that it left me thoroughly satisfied and heartbroken all at once.
Read this if…
‘Eric tore his eyes from the carnage. His conscience told him to turn around. He was the only one who could stop Akuan. But saving the city might mean condemning the world. Was he strong enough to just turn away?’ Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi