At Yomi’s Gate *****
By John Meszaros

Fan of Cassandra Clare? She’s about the only paranormal urban fantasy author whose books I enjoy. What if this genre went to samurai era Japan? You’d have At Yomi’s Gate. Sakura, Fumito, and Yoko are embroiled in a warlord plot at control. He tortures, maimes, and murders all who have betrayed him. Including his own family. The warlord has captured a fire demon and yields the supernatural force as a military weapon. What a great story!

I’ve encountered plenty of werewolves, vampires (both goth and glittery), and witches. Never in my urban fantasy travels have I come across half centipede half women. The setting reminded me of the anime Ninja Scroll, one of my favorites. There were great examples of social class clashes and our heroes struggled up and down the social ladder as they fall out of the warlord’s favor.

I would recommend this book for late teens and adults. Some of the violence and sex may lead to awkward questions and google searches for younger readers. I found the scenes tastefully done and complimentary to the plot. If you enjoy historical fiction, urban fantasy, anime, or detailed world building this book is for you.

I ran into John on Goodreads and read the blurb about his book. Then I bought the ebook from Amazon.

I enjoyed the character development between the five primary characters in this multiple point of view story. We learn about them through their interaction with one another and well as their decisions under duress. Like meeting someone and getting to know them, a few of the characters seemed strange for the beginning of the book, but became familiar and trustworthy after multiple visits.

Sakura is a cool character. I don’t want to spoil anything, but to be connected to a fire demon would really make the human experience an interesting one. She probably had the roughest start in life, but that builds character, right?

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