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Honour, duty, vengeance... The way of the Samurai. A thrilling new adventure from a bold new voice in historical fiction, for fans of Conn Iggulden
Scholar. Warrior. Samurai.
His name was Bennosuke, son of the great Munisai Shinmen, known throughout the empire as one of the greatest warriors who ever lived.
His destiny was to become a great warrior like his father - a Samurai, one of the most feared and respected in the world.
But before fame comes action, and Bennosuke must prove himself on the battlefield before he can claim his inheritance. And in his way stands the vengeful Hayato, son of Lord Nakata, the face of the enemy, a man who is determined to kill Bennosuke.
It is a battle between honour and vengeance, pride and reputation. And Bennosuke must look death in the eye before he can call himself a warrior. Before he can call himself Musashi, the greatest warrior of all time…
'A fascinating, exciting book, beautifully observed. Kirkcreates characters of great depth. An absolute gem' Conn Iggulden
'Mr Kirk restores my faith in historical fiction to bring lost worlds to life. Bravo! The keenest and most vivid evocation of the inner life of the East since James Clavell's Shogun'Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
Kirk proves himself a worthy samurai novelist with this brutal account of real-life 17th-century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto, who grew from a pockmarked village outcast to Japan's best warrior, due to his legendary samurai treatise, The Book of the Five Rings. The novel opens as lonely 13-year-old Bennosuke polishes the armor of his revered father, the samurai Munisai, who has spent the previous eight years in exile following the death of Bennosuke's mother. Bennosuke's uncle, the monk Dorinbo, has been raising the boy, encouraging him to seek a quiet life in the temple, while Bennosuke wants nothing more than to start samurai training. Munisai finally returns home, wounded and discouraged, but willing to share his mastery of the warrior's way with Bennosuke, leading to the revelation of the family's darkest secret. After learning all he can from Munisai, Bennosuke sets out on his own, ending up at the Battle of Sekigahara, where, still a teenager, he escapes from the defeated army well versed in bloodshed, treachery, and chaos, having taken the name he will soon make famous. Kirk, who lives in Japan, positively seethes with energy when depicting bloody violence from great battlefields to intimate ritual suicide showing feudal Japan as a complex culture in which cunning and poetry are indispensable, and death and vengeance unavoidable.