Written & Art by: Jean-Paul Deshong
It is the Tokugawa era. The Shogunate having suppressed the constant rebellions of the nation now sets its sights on expanding its dominance throughout the world. In doing so, General Daiki Jinjaku is commissioned to lead a small fleet seaward in order to gain new trade routes and charter waterways to new lands. The general having the utmost pride towards his duty towards his nation triumphantly goes forth, leaving his beloved wife and young son Omo behind. Omo, wanting to grow up in the honorable ways of Daiki promises to work hard in everything he does in order to reach his father’s greatness. Daiki promises that one day he will return to his homeland to see the pride of Japan his son has become.
Many years later, on the way home from their mission, the samurai are overwhelmed by obstacles obscuring their journey. This mission, almost from the onset is met with great catastrophe and most of the fleet is lost. Eventually, only Daiki reaches the mainland, as the only survivor, and manages to settle in his new home, where he is now stranded. That land is Africa. Through circumstance, he meets a young and impressionable boy named Kamau, who wins Daiki’s favor through sheer will.
Sons of Fate is the story of an unlikely Samurai, Kamau, and his journey of heartbreak and destiny to becoming a warrior. It is an epic that is well worth the read.
I mean, damn, Deshong gets a full star just for the unique story of a believable black Samurai in Japan! But not only does Deshong have a wonderful concept here, but he also pulls it off wonderfully! The story is believable! You could imagine Kamau actually being a historical character, and that makes the story all the better. Kamari’s progress through all three books is well thought out and engaging. The story is both heartbreaking and inspiring as Kamau makes his way through feudal Japan.
Deshong wrote and provided art for the series. His style of illustration for the books is fantastic! The colors he uses adds to the storytelling and compliments the plot nicely. There are a few times when it’s hard to tell which character is which and you have to rely on context clues to decipher which character it is. These moments are few and far between and are mostly in book 2. Overall, the artwork is wonderful and extremely well done!
The dialogue is great and gives perspective to past events. You learn a lot through the various characters’ conversations about family history, past national events, and more. The use of dialogue in the story is exactly as it should be in literature. Always propelling the plot forward while revealing key character details!
The story and plot are well constructed. There were a few times, again, mainly in book 2, where I was confused by parts of the story. There is a web-series that also fits in which I didn’t read, and perhaps that would have filled in gaps. Overwhelming though, the story elements are well thought out and executed.
The book is well-edited with no noticeable grammatical or spelling errors.
The Sons of Fate was a fantastic read. We get a lot of books at The Dispatch, and after reading this I was sorry it had taken me so long to get to it in my review stack! Deshong is preparing for a new book coming to Kickstarter and, based on his work in this series, I can’t wait to see his newest work!