Mrs Ripley's Review
I first stumbled across this book through a free chapter sampler. I was intrigued but not overly fascinated by the subject content, as it primarily seemed aimed at boys. I bought it all the same but it remained unread until last Sunday. The weather was beautiful, my spirits high and my appetite for a different style of writing needed to be fulfilled. I was not disappointed at any point, I thought this book was a ‘cracker.’ From the very beginning I was captured by Jack Fletcher (the main character), the unlikely crew and the evil ninja pirates.
The style of writing captured the reader’s attention through descriptive action-adventure scenes and thoughtful dialogue. This was stilted at the beginning, as Jack could not converse in the warriors language. However we learnt how to communicate alongside Jack, through the many words introduced in Japanese. I found this both interesting and educational, although I am far from being fluent.
I actually read the book, cover to cover, in one sitting over several hours. I found learning about the warrior’s culture and traditions informative and intriguing. Whilst the book contains many scenes of adrenaline pumping, masculine competitiveness. This is mildly diluted by Akiko (female warrior) who introduces aspects of femininity through her sophisticated bow and arrow work.
A great read, thoroughly entertaining with a lot of intense drama but not too much unwarranted violence. I can’t wait for the sequel, which will not be left untouched for a long period of time like the first. Five out of Five.
For readers 11+
Book Published by Puffin 7 Aug 2008Book Synopsis
August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan – his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins. But life at the samurai school is a constant fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bullies and treated as an outcast. With courage in his heart and his sword held high, can Jack prove himself and face his deadliest rival yet?
About the Author
Chris Bradford has earned his black belt in taijutsu, the secret fighting art of the ninja. He has also trained in judo, karate, kickboxing and samurai swordmanship. He lives in the South Downs with his wife and two cats called Tigger and Rhubarb.
The next book is called The Way of the Sword which is out in July.
Synopsis for book two.
One year of training in samurai school and Jack is in real trouble . . . He’s busy preparing for the Circle of Three, an ancient ritual that tests courage, skill and spirit to the limit. And, at the same time, Jack is caught in a running battle with fellow student Kazuki and his gang. But these are the least of Jack’s problems. He knows his deadly rival – the ninja Dragon Eye – could strike at any moment. Jack possesses the very thing he will kill for. Can Jack master the Way of the Sword in time to survive a fight to the death?