The Legend of Bright Morn
A Serialized Wuxia-inspired Web Novel
Bright Morn of Issareth
A master swordsman, reincarnating every 200 years:
his lives, adventures, wives, and search for home.
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2022
Volume IV, The Red Book – Part I, begins not where one might expect, which is with Bright Morn as the author left him, and the reader, in a nail-biting cliffhanger at the end of Volume III. Rather, Volume IV begins with Pale Morn, Bright Morn’s ancestor. We’ve known since early on in this saga that Pale Morn is an ancestor of importance, yet he’s only been a name attached to a larger-than-life legend supported by more-questions-than-answers sketchy family history. That changes in this volume. What the author reveals of Pale Morn’s story is everything I’d hoped it would be, while leaving me wanting more.
The author switches every few episodes among three predominant perspectives: Pale Morn’s ancient story; Bright Morn and his struggles to endure and survive his current underground ordeal; and the day-to-day life at The Manor/compound or somewhere in the general vicinity. The balance is just right so we don’t get too far away from any one perspective before returning.
Woven throughout Volume IV is the on-going challenge of accessing the elusive contents of the Red Book. For Bright Morn to learn what is in the Red Book is to learn about himself—a thing he both yearns for and fears. Within the pages of the book, his family and a few close friends hope to find a way to bring Bright Morn home alive. Time is not on anyone’s side, and the tediousness of translating the all-but-obsolete language in which the Red Book was written into a known language adds to their collective sense of urgency and increasing despair.
I was well into this volume when I realized the author has left a carefully thought-out trail of seemingly disconnected tidbits akin to individual puzzle pieces that, separately, are meaningless because they lack context but, once connected, become important to anticipating where this saga might be headed. I reveled in these ah-ha moments.
I read Episode 150 with the expectation of being left hanging on a similar cliff that ended Volume III, because that was a humdinger of a cliffhanger. It’s not a cliffhanger, per se. It’s even better…