Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Way of the Warrior, by Chris Bradford (fiction) - feudal Japan, shipwreck, assassins
all the gaijin must die...
but the youngest crewmember escapes - into a greater peril.
Jack knows that sea voyaging is dangerous, but his father is a skillful English pilot, with his handwritten navigational notes. But as they spot the shoreline of "the Japans" in 1611, their ship is attacked and sunk by ninja pirates, intent on keeping foreigners out of their country.
Only being found by an honorable samurai warrior saves Jack from immediate death.
Only Masamoto's power within the empire allows the blond-haired teen to accompany him to train with other young men and women in the most-demanding of martial arts.
Only Jack's determination to survive and someday return to England keeps him going through the mental challenges of fitting into Japanese society and the physical challenges of samurai school. Can blue-eyed Jack truly become an English samurai warrior in feudal Japan?
And DragonEye the one-eyed ninja assassin waits... waits for his chance to steal the navigation charts and to kill Jack. This is the first book in Bradford's "Young Samurai" series - your chance to travel back into a closed society and heart-pounding adventure on a World Wednesday.
Book info: The Way of the Warrior (Young Samurai #1) / Chris Bradford. Disney Hyperion, 2009 [author's website] [book series website] [book trailer]
My Recommendation: Stormdriven to the rocky shores of 1612 Japan, Jack sees his father and shipmates killed by ninja pirates. Rescued from the wreckage by a samurai’s men, the young blond teen is the first Englishman ever to visit Japan, bringing with him only his father’s secret sea navigation charts.
Jack is adopted into the family of samurai Masamoto who has mourned for 2 years since his elder son was assassinated by “DragonEye,” the same green-eyed ninja who killed Jack’s father. At age 12, Jack must quickly learn how to handle a wooden practice sword and chopsticks, how to speak Japanese and follow the many rules of this polite society, how to “fall seven times and rise up eight.” Akiko, daughter of a fallen samurai, helps Jack learn these many lessons as they prepare to enter the samurai academy in Kyoto.
Will the younger Masamoto son accept this “gaijin” foreigner as a foster brother or keep fighting against him? Will Jack succeed at the samurai academy as he seeks to learn the Way of the Warrior? When DragonEye threatens the capital city, can Jack and the other young samurai stop him? And will Jack ever get home to England again?
This exciting first book in the Young Samurai series includes a glossary and pronunciation guide for the Japanese words essential to the story. Ikinasai! Let’s begin! (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy courtesy of the publisher.