Heart of the Ronin
Five Star, Feb 2009, $25.95
In thirteenth century Japan, orphaned seventeen years old Ken’ishi is a Ronin, a samurai without a master at a time when a recent peace after years of war have left many warrior unfettered and turning to crime to survive. Accompanied by Akao the dog, he carries a legendary sword Silver Crane that “talks” to him, which someone so young should not own. As he wanders the countryside, Ken’ishi saves the life of Kazuko, a daughter of powerful Lord.
Prepared to mysteriously vanish as he always does following a heroic deed, Ken’ishi instead is trapped inside treachery as he feels he must keep Kazuko safe. Soon the Ronin ponders who is ally and who is betrayer as paid assassins and monsters out of the myths that should not be alive try to kill him.
The opening Ronin historical Japanese fantasy is an exciting tale that is filled with unexpected but entertaining twists as Ken’ishi protects Kazuko. The story line is action, action, and more action as the adventures never slow down. Sub-genre fans will enjoy trekking along side of Ken’ishi from his opening duel and the villagers’ reaction although much is left dangling for the next two tales.