If you enjoy books set in Asia, especially Japan, then this book is for you. The setting is Sixteenth-Century Japan in the days of the war-lords, the shoguns. Hiro Hattori and Father Mateo, the Portuguese Jesuit priest whom Hiro is protecting, are called to investigate the murder of a top member of the shogun’s staff. The victim was a cousin of the Shogun. The leading suspect is a friend of Hiro’s.
At the back of the book, Spann has given us a brief glossary of Japanese terms which clarify Hiro’s position in the world. He is a samurai and is thought to be ronin by most in the capital city of Kyoto. He cannot hide being samurai, but he can hide that he is also shinobi. Shinobi is what we generally refer to as ninja, based loosely on the Chinese word for the elite warriors. While samurai are the ground troops of the modern army, the shinobi are the Green Beret.
I enjoy Spann’s writing. She paints pictures with an economy of words. She sticks to the storyline, even though it is complex. I have much to learn from her technique.
This is her second book, the first, Claws of the Cat. was just as good. I first read book 4 and reviewed it here. For some reason, I missed reviewing Claws.