I absolutely loved this story -- a fantastic work!!!
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The japanese themes are spectacular; all the details about the culture woven in from the get-go provide a great sense of the world from the very start. The narrator has a distinct and immediately engaging voice, and his slightly ironical tone (as I took it) is great. It befits the delightfully jaded antihero of a protagonist. Unlike a lot of fantasy, you feel like you’re looking through the eyes of a more modern, mature figure on the absurdities of the human story, and I find that especially relatable. That makes the dichotomy of the language/tone vs. the setting really delightful. The magic system and how it unveils, integrated into the story, is also awesome. The characters are lovable and very distinct--they have very organic, adorable quirks and flaws . The word-play in this book is fantastic too. "Visibility was poorer than a one-fingered pickpocket"—love it! Any grammatical rule-breaking hits on point as intentional and stylistic most of the time.
Insights into the thoughts of the narrator always speak to the character even if they sometimes interrupt the pacing. Great action, cohesive world. Would highly recommend to anyone.