ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Brightest Shadow (Book 1)
Genre: Fantasy, Progression fantasy, Wuxia
Published: 6th March 2020 (self-published)
Eastern-inspired with great classic wuxia elements, The Brightest Shadow is a commendable fantasy entry with impressively thoughtful worldbuilding, and an interesting diverse cast of characters.
I grew up watching a lot of wuxia classics, the most famous being The Legend of the Condor Heroes. Sarah Lin paid homage to these great classics by incorporating cultural and martial arts elements which would feel very familiar to wuxia fans into her new fantasy series, The Brightest Shadow. The worldbuilding in this novel is really impressive and well thought out with multicultural people that although share some common traits are quite distinct from one another. Aside from physical looks, the differences could be demonstrated from the food they eat to the way martial arts are practised. Even the concept of sien (somewhat akin to qi in our world sense) differ from one people to another.
“A person who wants for nothing, who is at peace with themselves, cannot be seduced by simple stories.”