Taro is a boy from a coastal village in rural Japan, fated to become a fisherman like his father. But in just one night, Taro's world is turned upside down - and his destiny is changed forever.
Skilled in the art of silent and deadly combat, ninjas are the agents of powerful nobles who rule sixteenth-century Japan. So why did a group of these highly trained assassins creep into a peasant's hut and kill Taro's father? And why did one ninja rescue Taro from their clutches, saving his life at enormous cost?
Now on the run with this mysterious saviour and his best friend Hiro, Taro is determined to learn the way of the ninja to avenge his father's death. But if they are to complete their perilous journey, Taro must first evade the wrath of the warring Lords, decipher an ancient curse, resist forbidden love - and come to terms with the blood-soaked secrets of a life lived in moonlight.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This stirring tale of medieval Japan will snare adult and younger readers alike. As it opens, Taro is living a simple life as a fisherman’s son—until his world is suddenly torn apart when ninjas attack and kill his father. His own life is saved by a mysterious protector, and soon he embarks on an epic journey to become a ninja himself. Part Harry Potter, part Seven Samurai, this historical fantasy launches a terrific series that mixes vampires and swordfights with a rousing tale of adventure.
British author Lake's promising U.S. debut takes three of the most overused ideas in fantasy the boy with a destiny, vampires, and ninjas and combines them into a highly effective adventure. Marked by destiny, Taro has no idea that he is anything but a simple peasant until ninjas murder his father, driving Taro and his mother from their home. Protected and mentored by the ninja Shusaku and accompanied by his best friend, Hiro, Taro must come to terms with the heritage that makes him invaluable to two lords vying for control of feudal Japan, the revelation that the murderous samurai are not the noble heroes he admired, and his unexpected transformation into a kyuuketsuki (a vampire). While the ending sets up an inevitable sequel, the riveting, often gruesome, action and rich, comprehensible mythology should have readers racing through the chapters. Terry Pratchett wrote that clich s are the spanners and the screwdrivers in the toolbox of language, and Lake uses the story's familiar elements skillfully, combining them into an imaginative and original whole. And, really, with vampire ninjas, how can you lose? Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A compelling supernatural tale that draws you in to the secret world occupied the ninja of feudal Japan. Very well researched and I think that's part of what made it so enjoyable, the other being the strength of the characters. I'll be reading the others in the series for sure.