This past week we gave the spotlight to Sairō’s Claw, Virginia McClain’s LGBTQ+ Action Fantasy novel, the first book in the Gensokai Kaigai series! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content.
Virginia McClain is an author who masqueraded as a language teacher for a decade or so. When she’s not reading or writing she can generally be found playing outside with her four legged adventure buddy and the tiny human she helped to build from scratch. She enjoys climbing to the top of tall rocks, running through deserts, mountains, and woodlands, and carrying a foldable home on her back whenever she gets a chance. She’s also fond of word games, and writing descriptions of herself that are needlessly vague.
An action-adventure fantasy romp featuring sword lesbians, sea battles, and a grumpy wolf spirit.
Torako has done many things to protect the valley that she calls home, but she’s never looted a corpse before. So when the katana she steals off the still-cooling body of a bandit turns out to be possessed by a grumpy wolf kami, she can only assume it’s because she’s somehow angered the spirits. An impression that’s only reinforced when she returns home to find her wife abducted and her daughter in hiding. But angry spirits or no, Torako isn’t about to let bandits run off with the love of her life, even if it means taking their 3 year old on a rescue mission.
In all Kaiyo’s years as Captain of the Wind Serpent she has never once questioned her admiral’s orders. So when she receives the command to abduct a civilian scribe with the help of fifteen felons, she registers her objections, but does as she is bid. Yet, as the mission unfolds, Kaiyo finds herself questioning everything from her loyalties to her convictions. As Torako and Kaiyo’s fates cross like dueling blades, their persistence is matched only by their fury, until they uncover a series of truths they may never be ready to accept.
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
JULY 7TH – THE KICKOFF
Fantasy Book Critic – guest post: How Embracing All My Favorite Tropes Saved My Mental Health in 2020
“It is, however, a discussion about how protecting our own mental health is always a worthwhile thing, and how despite the whole “suffering artists make better art” narrative we are often fed (which is a lie, I might add) protecting yourself from harm can actually be the best thing for both you and your art.”
“Honestly, I loved this book so much I didn’t even want to put it down. The prose is comfortably eloquent, but not flowery. As with everything, McClain seems to walk that fine line down the middle with ease.. giving us enough to be immersive and never throwing anything at us that will kick us out of the story and leave us head-scratching. I’m eager to see where she goes from here and highly recommend giving this a chance if you like multi-cultural adult fantasy.”
@all.you.read.is.love – review + IG spotlight
“I absolutely adored this book and will promptly be diving into the other stories set in the world of Gensokai. It was lush and eloquent while simultaneously fierce and defiant. I’ve not read a book like it before; somehow it had everything you could possibly want in a story without bogging it down!”
“Speaking of the world, I absolutely loved it. Full of kami, raiders, wolf spirits, and sea serpents, it combined so many of my favorite fantasy elements. Something new was always being added, which was a bit hard to grasp at the beginning, but was great once I understood it.”
@overlookingcovers – review + IG spotlight
“The story was so unique, and the world complex. While the book has two major main characters, I especially enjoyed learning about Kayio and her life, and I became infatuated with wanting her start to learn to accept the love she deserves.”
@duckfacekim09 – review + IG spotlight
“This was so easy to read and had everything I could ever want!”
The Speculative Faction – review
“I highly recommend this story. It is full of love yet packed with excitement and action. It is fantastical in so many ways yet, at its heart, utterly believable thanks to its characters. For me, Virginia McClain is an exceptional author who brings originality, tolerance and love to the fore of her novels. Long may it continue.”
@amidstthepaper – review + IG spotlight
“For me, where this book shines most is in it’s cast of characters. Although Torako and Kaiyo are the “main” duo, we are also introduced to an ensemble of others, all of whom felt just as distinct and fleshed-out. I particularly loved the snark of Sairō, the wolf spirit, and their friendship and protectiveness with three year old Itachi!”
@thecaffeinatedrareder – IG spotlight
Beneath A Thousand Skies – review
“Sairō’s Claw was such a refreshing read for so many reasons, and there was so much to love about this book. Firstly, it is perfect if you are looking for a wonderful adventure packed with action and magic, with a touch of whimsy and lightheartedness, without shying away from some more serious/darker elements. It’s also the book for anyone who wants a book that celebrates diversity without sticking it up on a podium, and who loves characters that live and breathe and jump off the page to drag you along on their adventure.”
Sue’s Musings – review
“Sairō’s Claw is a fabulously original story full of exciting action and genuine emotion and I wolfed it down (sorry- couldn’t resist that!!). I would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different!”
@fantasybookcraz_mum – review + IG spotlight
“The world building is absolutely brilliant and written so beautifully. For me it ticked all the fantasy elements. Really loved the writing style and the glossy of terms at the beginning is so helpful.”
OllieSpot SFF Book Reviews – review
“For all these reasons, and many more, including the highly imaginitive heights this book took me, I would say it would be a good read for someone with almost any reading preference and I look forward to following the authors future and previous works.”
Westveil Publishing – review
“If you like big books (and you cannot lie) and stories steeped in folklore, check out Sairō’s Claw!”
FanFiAddict – excerpt
“McClain can write. I mean really write. The text is clean and easy to read from the first page to the last. The characters are fun and there’s quite a lot of subtle humor involved. If I had any talent at drawing I would create fan art of Torako and Tanaka. Plus, the book is just fun and full of a fairly diverse cast.”
If you’d like to know which of the characters you would be from Sairō’s Claw, you can find out from Virginia’s quiz HERE!
If you are interested in Sairō’s Claw and would like to get in contact with Virginia McClain, you can find her on social media:
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