I was sent both the first and second books in the Young Samurai series - The Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior and Young Samurai: The Way of the Sword by Chris Bradford for review on my blog. I have been swamped with books to read and review lately and saw these might not be "top of the list" in style for me, so I passed them onto my husband and son - whew, good thinking on my part because they both have EXCELLENT things to say about them. Here is what they said:
First I want to say that I think these were great reads. I am not typically a fan of Samurai stories but the author did a great job of weaving Japanese history, culture and tradition into a compelling storyline. It was difficult to put either of the two books down. I passed the first book on to one of my boys and he was finished with it before I was halfway through the second. His comment, "When will you be finished, that was a REALLY good book and I want to read the second," should tell you how good they are!
The story follows the life of an English boy who was sailing with his father in search of Japan. Jack soon finds himself orphaned due to an attack by ninja pirates. He is then quickly adopted by a Samurai and begins the arduous task of training to become a Samurai. His goal is to prevent a gift that his father gave him from falling into the wrong hands and to also hunt down and kill his father's assassin.
If you were or are a fan of the Harry Potter series these stories may be just for you. The author follows a similar plot line - orphaned child, raised by another family, sent to school for a year, meets a group of good friends, has a group of enemies, has to defeat the enemy who killed his father. What is differnet is the setting. This storyline is set in ancient Japan and does a great job of giving you an understanding of this rich culture.
Here is what others have had to say about the books as well:
Eoin Colfer praised The Way of the Warrior as "...a fantastic adventure that floors the reader on page one and keeps him there until the end." Publisher's Weekly gave the novel a starred review, noting "Debut author Bradford comes out swinging in this fast-paced adventure set in medieval Japan...an adventure novel to rank among the genre's best... This book earns the literary equivalent of a black belt."
Go HERE to see a great trailer for the books. Or visit their website - YoungSamurai.com - you will find teacher's guides, videos, reviews and more!
I am glad I was included in this blog tour - great books - our junior high/high school readers will LOVE them!