Book Review: Kojiro by Khalil A. Barnett

Book Details:

Author: Khalil A. Barnett
Release Date: 
15th November 2022
Genre: High Fantasy Asian Myths & Legends, Asian Literature
Format: E-book 
Pages: 436
A sword & sorcery fantasy novel based on Asian myths & legends.
Tulpas, otherwise known as thought-forms, spring first from the imagination, then go on to live lives independent of their creators. And sometimes, they maintain a hostile, even violent, relationship with said creators.
No one knows this quite like Coletrane Marx, the only son of an eccentric billionaire archeologist, who one night as a child unwittingly created a tulpa himself; one that visited him in demon form in the middle of the night to murder his parents with a samurai sword.

Forever changed by this trauma, Coletrane grows up to inherit his father’s obsession with archeology and to discover that his unfiltered, childhood imagination created not only this mysterious, cursed samurai named Kojiro, but also an alternate feudal history wherein the strong-willed warrior has his own prophetic story in a world full of mythic creatures, powerful humanoid animal Lords, living deities, and evil Tricksters. A world, Coletrane in addition learns, that will overlap with his own in catastrophic ways if he and Kojiro do not reconcile their dark, shared past and come together as one to stop it.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kijiro by Khalil A. Barnett is a sword & sorcery fantasy novel based on Asian myths & legends and tells the story of Kojiro, a malignant manifestation of a young child, the son of a billionaire archeologist.

This book is so different from the usual fantasy stories that one reads, especially the popular culture Fantasy books, as most of them draw heavily from Greek and/or Roman legends. But this book was a real treat for me because it is based on Asian mythology and being an Asian myself it was so gratifying to read a story about the culture I could, if not entirely being a South Asian, at least partially, relate to way more than the European fantasy plots. I could feel more connected to the story and especially the motivations of the character and the stakes in the story for them.

I loved the author’s writing style — it had a great flow, making the book seem like a lullaby, albeit dark. The pacing of the novel is spot on and the tension runs tight throughout the story, keeping the readers engaged right from the beginning to the very last page. The concept is phenomenal, the execution fantastic and the overall story extremely captivating and entertaining.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and would highly recommend it to all readers, especially to all Asian readers to explore this amazing gem.

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