Sunday, November 5, 2023

Today's read... Adventures of Takuan From Koto by Ryu Zhong

I've seen today's read floating around the kidlit realm for several months and was excited when I got my hands on a, it's been getting amazing reviews! At 551 pages, I am a bit curious how this will line up for the younger age group (middle graders), but it should also slide into the young adult realm as well, or so it claims. 

Let's just head right in and see if this one is worth the buzz.

Adventures of Takuan from Koto book cover

by Ryu Zhong
Anno Ruini Books
Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure
551 pages
ages 8 to 12

Whimsical adventures of a young trickster: from clever exploits to a god-given mission.

A stone marten, in pursuit of the sun, climbs to the very Heavens and causes quite a commotion. Both the stubborn gods and the ordinary people have a hard time when weredemons break free. Even the Lord of the Underworld turns out to be powerless.

But sometimes even a mouse can be stronger than an elephant, as the old proverb says. The fate of the world ends up in the hands of Takuan — a young trickster, who deceives the greedy, angry, and ignorant people across the country of Chinayindu. On his journey, he meets the wandering warrior Zhu Leizu, a temple monk named Soliang, the clumsy sorcerer Bricabrac, and many others.

Our story begins with a village boy setting off to a monastery to become a demon-hunting monk, only to find out how truly dull monastic life can be.

Or does our story begin with the birth of the stone marten Ta Guan? To learn about what happened in the Heavens, the incredible adventures of Takuan, and what was the end of all of it, read the book ‘Takuan of Koto’ by Ryū Zhong.

- Goodreads
- Bookbub
- Amazon

Adventures of Takuan from Koto graphic


Filled with richness in so many ways, this is a book to get lost in, enjoy, and gain plenty of food for thought along the way.

This is an unique collection of stories, which weave together and connect more and more as the book goes on to form a well-round tale and realm. It begins with a marten, Ta-Guan, who ventures to reach the sun, but instead, sets off an entire chain-reaction, which reverberates through immortal and mortal realms. She's endearing and sets the right atmosphere for the rest to take place. More characters and tales are brought in, creating a bit of a combobled array, which, however, smooths out into a masterfully woven tale. While Ta-Guan sets the stage, Takuan then takes the lead and brings in a clever mix of trickery and curiosity. His complex character makes him harder to embrace, which perfectly lines up with the adventures because his growth pulls right along with this read. Of course, there are other characters who can't be ignored and round off everything in all the right ways.

It's an easy read, and yet, packs wisdom and cultural depth, while the adventures poke play and keep it light. Themes such as greed, anger and more add food for thought, while the rich details open up Asian mythology and mentality in a way middle graders (and older readers) can easily grasp and understand. Each chapter ends with a clever phrase from the narrator, which closes off the sections and invites for a continuation to the next. This makes it perfect for those, who want to use the book as a nightly read, especially between adults and kids. 

Not only middle graders and young adults are sure to enjoy this one. Plus, it's one to keep and revisit time and again.


And here he is...

Ryu Zhong author picture

Ryu Zhong has spent the last fifteen years in multinational corporations doing future research and developing novel tech. Today, Ryu writes fantasy and science fiction based on his experience. In his novels, he highlights the phenomena that humanity may face in just a few hundred years.

Ryū Zhong were lucky to be born and grow in Asia. Now they live in Amsterdam, study Dutch, and adapt their writings to English and other languages.

Author links:
- Website
- Blog
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Goodreads
- Amazon

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1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I agree that this is long for a middle grade book, but I'm glad it was so engrossing that it shouldn't matter. It sounds like it has great worldbuilding. Glad you liked it.