Watercolor Fantasy

Deva Zan by Yoshitaka Amano

First Look:

Amano’s signature style: watercolors that are decidedly not pastel landscapes and blurry flowers.

Jacket Copy:

In his forty year career, Yoshitaka Amano has illustrated many projects, becoming famous for Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D. But never before has Amano written the visions he depicts – never until now! Dark Horse has the honor to publish Deva Zan, Yoshitaka Amano’s first fantasy novel as an author as well as an illustrator! An epic ten years in the planning, Amano has made Deva Zan as his personal expression of the legends of Asia for his Western readership. In esotevic Japanese Buddhism, twelve generals – the Juni Jinsho – stood guard over the cosmos at the points of the zodiac. But now they have vanished, and nothing stands between us and the forces of darkness but Deva Zan, a samurai without a memory. To restore order to existence, he must marshal not only his own fighting skill, but find companions that can cross the boundaries of time and space – to join him in a battle that will stretch from the fields of ancient Japan, to the streets of modern New York City – and to dimensions beyond human comprehension!



Worth Reading?

Well, it’s certainly worth staring at.  The story is…confusing, at best.

Notable Things:

Beautiful Art!  That’s what drew me to this book, and what kept me reading.


I understand that this book is based on Buddhist mythology, and I understand that folk tales and myths are often choppy and sketchy in style: the elaboration should be provided by the individual storyteller.  That said, a little smoothing out would be nice.  There were many, many characters who sometimes seemed to have several names, or no names, only descriptors.  Many events happened suddenly, without even the characters understanding how.  I would have appreciated more of a coherence and flow to the story.  Although the art was beautiful, I sometimes couldn’t tell how it related to the story portion it was near.


I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.


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