Friday, March 29, 2013

What You're Not Reading, Day Eight

Sometimes you need a good epic adventure novel as a break from all of those uber-cerebral, snooty, literary
works. Doesn't the stream of consciousness get old? Don't you just want to scream "Do something already!?" Sometimes you want to see an Ivory Merchant film, and sometimes you want Batman. I hear your cries.

Child of Vengeance by David Kirk is your palate cleansing novel. Welcome to 16th century Japan, when lords send their samurai to battle and codes of honor dictate warrior behavior. The samurai gives his life to his lord and knows that death is his future; the key is to make it an honorable one. Bennosuke is a teenager dividing his time between learning samurai swordplay and monastic philosophy and worship. His father is the great samurai Munisai, but Munisai hasn't been seen in their village in nine years. Instead, it's Bennosuke's monk uncle who raises the boy. When Munisai returns, though, Bennosuke's worship of his legendary father pushes the boy into the world of the samurai.

Battles. The ritual suicide of seppuku. Prison breaks. Adventure that rivals Sho-Gun, or Pirates of the Caribbean, or Lord of the Rings (without the monsters and wizards and such). Child of Vengeance is, simply, a fun read. Oh, and the character Bennosuke becomes Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest samurai ever and the author of The Book of Five Rings, a war strategy book that is still in print today and read by business leaders and such.

Also, the cover is cool. Judge the book by the cover. This book is awesome.

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