The Heavenly Sword – Blunt Ending

The Heavenly Sword CoverI got cozy with The Heavenly Sword by Alice Poon. It was so easy to sit down and read Sai’er’s adventure, it was like listening to an epic oral tale. I looked forward to opening up my book before bed each night to see where Poon would take me next. The story flowed so nicely and I couldn’t help but snuggle in and relax into Sai’er’s tale of love and justice. 

Tang Sai’er has lived all her life in a small village training in martial arts alongside her adopted brother. When the time comes for the two siblings to leave their home and master new skills, Sai’er discovers she’s the reincarnation of the goddess Chang’e. Sai’er has returned to the mortal world to carry out a celestial mission: defeat the Prince of Yan before he wreaks havoc on the world. Sai’er will take on this quest, aided by the immortals and her friends, and rely on her incredible wits and skills to protect all that she holds dear. 

You don’t sit with anything too long in this story. It’s like watching the landscape roll by in a car. The plot, character development, action scenes, and immortal interference occur at high speed. This pace was difficult for me at first because I love diving deep into my fantasy worlds. However, I came to appreciate Poon’s unique storytelling cadence. It felt as if she was telling me a bedtime story, and I was often lulled into a comfortable state of mind as I read on. The other great benefit of this pace is that a lot happens in this book. The events take place over several years of Sai’er’s life, and the story never gets hung up on long training sequences or lulls between the action. 

Sai’er’s journey is tumultuous and interesting, and there is a large cast of supporting characters that aid her in her celestial mission. Poon highlights Chinese folklore throughout Sai’er’s tale. We get sneak peeks into the celestial realm, the shared histories between immortals, and new dramas that are being played out in the moral world. I like how there was no pomp and circumstance surrounding the magic in the story as well. The fantastical elements appear and influence Sai’er’s journey, and it’s accepted as easily as the characters eating taro root for dinner. It helped me stay grounded in the fast plot without letting me spiral into the why’s and how’s of the world’s inner workings. It served the story well and let us keep up with Sai’er’s next move. 

The only drawback of this book is that it ends abruptly. It’s like Poon decided it was my bedtime, closed the book, and stood up to turn off the lights. It was a jarring end because the story cuts off mid-conversation right before a dreaded, impending battle. It was an odd choice to end the book here. However, I’m happy Sai’er’s story will continue. It’s incredible how much happened in this one book, and I look forward to the culmination of this determined woman’s mission. 

Read The Heavenly Sword for its inspiring heroine and action-packed adventure. There is a lot of entertainment provided in its short page count, and for that alone, I think it’s worth your time. 

Rating: The Heavenly Sword – 7.0/10

Buy this book on

Leave a Reply