By the time I read a page of this book I was completely sucked in and completed it in a few hours. Set in a world similar to feudal japan but with magical elements, this story centers around a boy whose life is completely changed in one day. Outside forces and his birth ensure that his life will never be normal. I was very interested in the world that the author created - a tribe of assassins with special inherited powers, feudal lords, revenge, arranged marriages, and a young man coming of age. Well written characters. A little angsty.
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.
A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.
However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
Reading it was like stepping into an ancient and exquisite piece of Japanese art work. A bold story delicately told. With strong characters, well thought-out chapters, and a knack for bringing me so deep into the story that felt like I could feel the mist and smell the lotus flowers. It was a delightfully unusual, and left me scurrying to find the rest of the books in the series. Highly recommended!
I loved this book. It is an imaginative and captivating tale mixing reality of life in old Japan filled with mystical powers, love and betrayal.
Book was excellent and interesting.
Very well written account of a young man becoming a warrior and more
in feudal Japan
Intriguing story about a young man who is torn between his birth into a secret ninja clan of assassins and his adoption as a feudal lord's son.
This is a spell binding tale of ancient Japan layered in fantasy. Hanunting and hard to put down. It is the first book in a trilogy, with amazing sword fights, a quest, twisted court politics and romance.