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Child of Vengeanceby David Kirk
Synopses & Reviews
A bold and vivid historical epic of feudal Japan, based on the real-life exploits of the legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto.
Japan in the late 16th century was a land in turmoil. Lords of the great clans schemed against each other, served by aristocratic samurai bound to them by a rigid code of honor. Bennosuke is a high-born but lonely teenager living in his ancestral village. His mother died when he was a young boy, and his powerful warrior father Munisai has abandoned him for a life of service to his Lord, Shinmei. Bennosuke has been raised by his uncle Dorinbo, a monk who urges the boy to forgo the violence of the samurai and embrace the contemplative life. But Bennosuke worships his absent father, and when Munisai returns, gravely injured, Bennosuke is forced to confront truths about his family's history and his own place in it. These revelations soon guide him down the samurai's path—awash with blood, bravery, and vengeance. His journey will culminate in the epochal battle of Sekigahara—in which Bennosuke will first proclaim his name as Mushashi Miyamoto. This rich and absorbing epic explores the complexities of one young man's quest while capturing a crucial turning point in Japanese history with visceral mastery, sharp psychological insight and tremendous narrative momentum.
"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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
DAVID KIRK, now 26, first became interested in Japanese history when his father gave him a copy of James Clavell's Shogun. Years later he would be inspired to write his dissertation on samurai cinema. Kirk now lives in Japan, where he now works as an English-language teacher. www.davidkirkfiction.com
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