The Cracked Magnifying Glass


The Mentor in a Frontier City, volume 1

Thirteen-year-old Rebecca Alvern is desperate to escape an arranged marriage. but her father, a power-hungry earl, hasn’t seen her as anything but a political tool since the day he learned she hasn’t inherited his aptitude for lightning magic, and none of her siblings are willing to take her side. So with nowhere left to turn…

Kageō no Miyako and the First Sōgen Fantasy Newcomer Awards

CW: sexual assault An orphaned farm girl is shaken from her monotonous routine by the arrival of a talking skull. Her runaway brother desperately clings to his menial position in the service of the lecherous merchant who once plucked him off the streets. The merchant’s current “favorite” schemes against his “rivals” to maintain his life…

From the Byston Well Story: Garzey’s Wing 5

The fifth and final volume of Garzey’s Wing begins not with its opening chapter but with a map and a brief summary of prior events—both firsts for the series. While you might expect these to be backwards-looking features, they actually function more as previews of things to come. The map depicts only the region that…

From the Byston Well Story: Garzey’s Wing 4

CW: sexual assault Following the pattern established by volumes two and three, the fourth book of Garzey’s Wing picks up almost immediately where the preceding volume left off. Unlike previous volumes, the opening chapter does not follow our protagonist Chris, although he remains the center of attention even when he is not present. Leelince visits…


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Who am I?

My name is William Varteresian. I’m a freelance Japanese-to-English translator and editor with a master’s in East Asian Studies (but for all intents and purposes, just Japanese literature). The history and development of Japanese genre fiction is my passion. I’d like to use this blog to explore a range of books that I think are worth thinking about, from widely available classics to influential novels that have never been translated and lesser-known titles that are still worth a look.

Updates sporadically when I have time.

Some of the books I’ve translated

Gold Mask

by Edogawa Rampo

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