A good read for fifth grade on up.
This is the third book in the Samurai Mysteries series; there are six books in this series. I think this was the best book in this series so far. There is more adventure and the plot is more complex.
Seikei is helping Judge Ooka to solve the mystery behind the murder of a samurai lord. In order to cover ground quicker Judge Ooka sends Seikei on an adventure with a ninja Tatsuno to track down the maker of some mysterious paper left at the scene of the crime. Seikei will learn many things on the journey but mostly he will learn that a samurai's honor is not as black and white as he had believed.
This book was a bit different than the other ones in that Seikei faces some very interesting moral decisions. He goes on more of an adventure than in the previous books and gets put into more dire situations than ever before.
Each of these books has focused on some aspect of Japanese history and for this book that was the way of the ninja. Seikie learns how ninja's think, he learns some of their tricks, and he learns what drives them. Along the way Seikei also learns some hard lessons about samurai. Not all of the samurai are the noble heroes he expects them to be.
As with the previous books the writing style is nothing special. This book is definitely aimed at kids, so the syntax and words used are dumbed down some (more than I think they need to be for this age group). As I have mentioned with previous books in this series I think that the writing could be more complex and then these books would be absolutely wonderful. In this book the story does get more complex, so that was nice.
Overall I enjoyed the book and the look into historical Japan. I will definitely be reading the rest of the books of this series because I find them very interesting.
Very good book, deals with a lot of culture and history in a fun fiction book.