Prince of Blue Flowers

Adventures of Takuan from Koto

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Pub Date 20 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2023

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Light and humorous fantasy full of adventures, action, magic and mischief for all ages: children, teens, and adults.

Young boy Hatsukoi leaves his village to become a monk, only to find monastic life incredibly boring. With a new-found name and a new-found friend, Hatsukoi travels the countryside and plays tricks at the expense of corrupt, irate, greedy, and ignorant people. Nobles of all ranks—from petty governors to crown princes—fall victim to the boy’s wit and cunning.

As his tricks evolve from childhood frolics to elaborate cons, Hatsukoi grows as well. He learns not only the craft of his trade, but also its higher purpose.

Join Hatsukoi’s journey, laugh at his exploits, and learn with him.

Enjoy this book with your kids and family.

Light and humorous fantasy full of adventures, action, magic and mischief for all ages: children, teens, and adults.

Young boy Hatsukoi leaves his village to become a monk, only to find monastic life...

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ISBN 9798371716033
PRICE $6.49 (USD)

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Average rating from 14 members

Featured Reviews

this was a great book for all ages, I was invested in what was going on and loved how Ryu Zhong wrote this. It had everything that I was hoping for and had a great concept for this type of book. I was invested in what happened to the characters and enjoyed getting to know this world. I can't wait for more from the author as I really enjoyed this.

"However, while the celestials lived freely in monastic prayers, mortal people were still oppressed by demons. These creatures couldn’t grab people at their own volition just like that anymore, but even all the power of the gods of luck wasn’t enough to deliver humankind of demons completely."

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I enjoy a good Asian fantasy, and a fun trickster tale, and this is both of those things. I initially put this on my "heist" shelf, but it's not really at the planning level of a heist; it's more the trickster character seizing his opportunities to put one over on the greedy people he encounters. The setting is mostly classical Chinese in feel, though most of the names (including the named gods) are Japanese. There's a formula that ends each chapter, as in traditional tales.

I got a bit of a Monkey: The Journey to the West feel from it, not least because the trickster also has ambitions to fight demons as a monk, though he gets expelled from his monastery because of one trick too many.

Overall, it's a fun ride, and it's good to have a trickster character who isn't just motivated by greed or mischief but is directing his natural exuberance to a noble end.

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Thank you Netgalley, Ryu Zhong, and the publisher for gifting me a copy of Prince of Blue Flowers.


This was my first venture into Asian fantasy so there was a slight learning curve when I started reading. For example, at the end of each chapter, it would say... If you want to learn what happened to this character keep reading the next chapter. I don't need to be told this, but I got used to the little excerpts at the end of each chapter after a while. Is this how all Asian fantasy books are formatted? I also wasn't expecting that's how the book would end! So I will be checking out the second in this series.

This story starts with an old folk tale about a marten trying to catch the sun. The story was enjoyable but I thought I was reading a different book than the blurb because there was no young boy in this story. It discusses marten's adventures on his journey to capture the sun. We see the consequences of his actions and how they affect everyone else.

We then meet Takuan who is a trouble-making deceiver. He ends up in a monastery due to his mischievous ways and ends up being kicked out for the very same reasons. As the story continues we see how he has matured in his mischief and how he transforms himself into a deceiver.

This story is wonderfully written and I enjoyed how everything circled back around and connected to different parts of the story. This was my first attempt at reading Asian fantasy and it won't be my last. Ryu Zhong is a wonderful writer who kept me intrigued the entire time and I can not wait to read more of his work.

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A thoroughly enjoyable read! The way it's written resembles traditional tales and I really appreciated this style and use of language.

The main character, Hatsukoi, is a mischievous, clever boy whose journey was fascinating to read about and I was quite impressed with the way he carried out his tricks. The book was full of exciting situations and interesting characters, mixed with rich and witty writing. It contained lessons about human nature and how a person's greed can be the cause of their defeat. The story is constructed in a way that kept me entertained and interested, resembling being told a traditional tale with a moral to think about. I also adored the inclusion of a fox cub as our main character's companion which reminds us how important it is to have someone to lean on in life.

I definitely enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the next part of Hatsukoi's journey!

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all the demons were accidentally set free to disrupt the world however they wish. Their intentions were to eat all the mortals, but those poor mortals prayed to the gods to save them, in which they eventually did, yet it wasn’t early enough. The aftermath was that all people on earth had three roots of evil nestled in them: ignorance, greed and anger. As soon as one of these roots touched the human mind, the gaze of that person became foggy and bleary, leaving him open to believing everything that nourished this evil. And someone -of course, our protagonist- figured this out, and used it in his advantage, it was only playful mischievous pranks at first, but could it go any further?

The author clearly knew their skills and didn’t waste any of it away. The narrative was amusing, the writing style was pleasantly smooth; it drew the scenes in my head effortlessly, the characters were cartoonish in a light-hearted way, the use of the old asians folk stories was absolutely brilliant and Splendidly done!

Spoilers(?), talking about the protagonist: To me, Takuan is not a hero. He was slowly becoming a different, more flawed person, and less of just a playful child. yes he is a smart person, and the people he tricked were indeed bad people, but he simply wasn’t doing the world justice, he was only doing that to his own benefit. and that seems like a mix of greed and arrogance to me.
Also, the title didn’t make such sense, it was only the last bit of the story where we know the prince of blue flowers, and it wasn’t a big part of the plot either. the cover too, it’s beautiful, but the character in it doesn’t appear in the book, which was confusing. I think if someone had some expectations over the title and the cover, they would be very disappointed.

The book ended with a cliffhanger, and there’s a sequel coming soon, but I thought it was unnecessary since it could’ve easily been just one long book. Nonetheless, so whimsical. Such a fun time! Will continue reading the series.


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Prince of Blue Flowers by Ryu Zhong is a great fantasy! Very interesting book and I found it highly enjoyable.

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Wow! This book really exceeded my expectations in the best possible way. Written in the style of a fable it’s a fast paced fantasy story following a young trickster’s adventures.

In the beginning of the book we get the world building established: a place where demons have taken over the heavens and celestials have been forced to flee. The only thing protecting humankind from demons is a blessing of luck from the gods in exchange for housing the celestials in their prayers at monasteries around the world. The premise is very cool and we learn that despite the luck blessings there are a few ways demons can get to humans, primarily through exploiting our innate weaknesses such as anger and greed.

A young prankster named Takuan very much enjoys tricking people who give in to these weaknesses and we follow him on his adventures throughout the world. He definitely has a faulty moral compass but is still an enjoyable protagonist with a compelling backstory. He’s not evil, but rather comes across as naive about the consequences of his “pranks”. Like a trickster god from old mythology I’m rooting for him and against him at the same time.

I loved the fable like prose and the fast pacing made the story flow quickly so my interest never waned. The different pranks and tricks were clever and creative and very much amped up the fable resemblance which I enjoyed. The story ends a bit abruptly and while it technically wraps up the primary plot threads it doesn’t really stand alone. I don’t mind that though, the book was a short quick read and I’m already excited to pick up the next one!

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I thoroughly adored this little book! It reads like a fable or a myth, the premise being entirely unique and intriguing. It was fun and exciting and new! I don't typically love shorter books/novellas, because they always leave me wanting for depth. Depth in the plot, depth in the world, depth in the characters. But I feel the setting and premise of this story fits perfectly into that shorter size.

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