Leslee Sheu is the author of Kumasagi, a serialized fantasy saga set in a semi-aquatic civilization on a planet far from ours.
For more information and updates about the Kumasagi books, visit LesleeSheu.com
Supplemental maps, a character guide, and glossary can be found here.
Leslee lives in Maryland with her husband, their kid, and two pet guinea pigs. She has a passion for reading comics and manga, and enjoys papercrafting as a hobby. Kumasagi is her first fantasy series.
Leslee has created an incredibly detailed, unique fantasy world filled with culture, mysticism, lore, challenges, and a unique exploration of human relationships.
What's most compelling about this book the richly detailed society and its unique challenges. The females of the species are born as fully grown adults and the story in part one mainly revolves around this important feature of the species. Women also only bear one male child, which makes Najat, a second-born son, a rare person along with his status as the holy mystic Kumasagi, whose job is to guide souls from this life to the next.
Najat accidentally makes a deep, mystical connection with the newborn woman who would someday become his brother's wife, and no one can ever know about it. This is not your garden variety love triangle. Najat and Asta can never be together. Or can they?
I highly recommend this excellent story to anyone who loves sci-fi, fantasy, and romance.
Kumasagi is a well-written and lush series opener that does a splendid job of developing its characters within a fascinating world. Sheu has created something both familiar and exotic and her characters—not mermen, but not human either—are carefully crafted to immerse the reader in the mysticism which is, to this reader, the core of the book. While I loved her descriptive language throughout, which triggered all my senses, the book soars when Sheu describes a scene where the title character guides the soul of a young boy—who has just died an accidental and traumatic death—to the light. An absolutely stunning chapter. Kudos to the author!
I had mixed feelings about this book at first, but I rather enjoyed it by the end. It was a unique and easy read.
The reason I was initially concerned was that the story didn’t seem like it was going to be my type of thing, and it kinda isn’t, but I’m all right with it. The book follows the ordinary lives of three somewhat unordinary people, and it sets up a complicated relationship between them. Given the nature and the mysticism of the bonds involved, calling their situation a love triangle seems a bit misleading, but maybe that’s just me. (I’m really not a fan of love triangles.)
Either way, the narrative reads more like fiction than fantasy, yet at the same time, we’re exploring characters that are of a semi-aquatic race. Magic plays a huge role in their society and culture, and that’s what I really like about this book—the creative vision! The world of Kumasagi is very detailed and intricate. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but I grew to appreciate it, as somewhere down the road, everything fell into place.
So yeah. Even though not everything worked for me in Destin, the elements that I did like left a positive impression.
It was nice to read a fantasy book that wasn't about some great struggle between good and evil. The world built in this story is down right fascinating. It's also has one of the better magic systems I've seen in fiction, and it's easy to see why it's necessary to the people in the story. I know I'm being vague but so much of it is intrigue to the story I don't want to spoil anything. It also has a soothing tone and almost feels "slice of life". Just a good relaxing read.
It was something of a surprise to me how much I absolutely loved this book. Normally, fantasy book are not at the top of my "to read" pile. However, Kumasagi: Destin is such a richly imagined story that it draws you into an entirely different world that, while both thrilling and different, is at the same time totally approachable. The first book follows two brothers in a society where a second son is rare, and the second son, who is destined to become the Mahasagi, has a secret connection to his adventurous brother's wife. You seriously cannot put the book down once you pick it up. After I finished the first book, I could not wait to immerse myself back into the world of the Kumasagi. I normally do not read the next book in a series right away, but I just had to know what happened next and launched myself into the second book in the series immediately. I'm really glad there are many more book planned. I cannot wait to learn more about the world of the Kumasagi.
Not for me. Although, I can recognize a thoughtful fantasy world. This novel is full of alot of world building for the rest of the series. This helps create a detailed world but can be a little dense with information for that reason
**Trigger warning** In this book there is a wife market and similarities to real world misogyny. If reading such things bothers you maybe give this one a pass
The main theme throughout Destin is forbidden love. With a love triangle at its heart. This triangle takes place with two brothers and a woman named Asta.
Due to the serialized nature of the book do not expect answers regarding plot points. View all the books as one.
A very original setting, rife with culture and mythological inspiration. Though it can be dry and slow at times, its well worth the effort once you get into the narrative style and the plot gets moving. What starts out as an introduction to the great Shakti Lake City and its spiritual denizens becomes a love-triangle thick with tension.
To the author: "Ai, Saati! I honor your novel with the highest of mudras!"
In this fantasy world, there are water people. There are divers who train relentlessly for the purpose of harvesting the destins. The females of this race. This is all part of their mystical being. Now that there is a basic understanding of this first part Book 2 will further the reader’s knowledge of the maturing of the characters. I look forward to Book 2.
I enjoyed this book so much. The world building is excellent. The characters and their relationships are well crafted. I enjoyed it.
My only complaint is it changes perspectives a bit too much. Especially with a character driven novel - switching things up weakens the overall narrative. I would suggest looking into 3rd person limited or 3rd person Deep POV (especially this one), to let your readers know exactly who we’re following and everything they are thinking and feeling.
There’s plenty of great blogs and articles on these two perspectives.