Can a good man survive in a world that no longer wants him? Mirriam Neal’s The Dying of the Light weaves a new tale of a modern Robin Hood set in a near-future Japan. Saizou Akita returns from five years in war. He discovers his domain is now all but ceded to a rival nobleman. When he attempts to reclaim his land, the capricious Prince-Regent declares him an outlaw. This forces Saizou and comrade-in-arms Shi to go on the run. As they evade capture, they gather a misfit band of allies and catalyze change in a Japan that no longer feels like home. Amid a sprawling and realistic cast, Neal keeps myriad story threads taut in this first epic installment of the Brotherhood of the Moon series, bringing the story to a satisfying close yet leaves readers anticipating a sequel.
Best for: Older teens and adults who enjoy found families, veterans, and punk-style epics.
Discern: Main characters with PTSD; violence including gunfights, killings, serious injuries, flashbacks to warfare, and a small child’s death; a villain sexually abuses his servants (without graphic detail) and recalls his own childhood abuse; mild swearing; and references to faith doubts, God and gods, and illicit drug use leading to withdrawals.