Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review - The Sword that Cut the Burning Grass (Samurai Mysteries, Book 4) by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler (4/5 stars)

This is the fourth book in the six book Samurai Mysteries series by the Hooblers.  It was a great addition to the series and Seikei starts to show a lot of maturity in some of the decisions that he makes.

In this book Seikei is sent by the shogun to try and convince the boy-emperor to resume his duties.  The emperor is a boy Seikei's age and has run away to a temple because he does not believe he is the true emperor.  Seikei sets out to find the emperor but runs amok of a plot that is much bigger than just a one foolish young boy.  Seikei will have to navigate his way through layers of treachery is he is going to save the emperor and the shogun.

This was the best book in this series so far.  Seikei matures a lot and is making independent decisions and traveling on his own.  Again there is a lot of adventure, you can tell that Seikei has learned from past decisions.  He is not so naive and actually does a good job thinking things through.  We also get some very cool new characters that travel with Seikei.  One is Hato, a spunky young girl who believes Seikei is actually the emperor and the other is Reigen, a mysterious old man who fights awesome.  Each of the books has focused on some aspect of Japanese history and this book explains a lot about the emperor and the traditions surrounding that position.

Overall this was a great book.  As with previous books the writing is at a bit lower level than most young adult books, but it is more complex than then first few books.  The plot is also more complex than previous books.  People will enjoy all the action and adventure as well as the dilemmas Seikei is faced with.  I look forward to reading the next book and seeing what kind of trouble Seikei gets into this next time.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
The Sword That Cut the Burning Grass (The Samurai Mysteries) 

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