Child of Vengeance

David Kirk. Doubleday, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-53663-9
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. (Mar. 12)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 03/12/2013
Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-0-385-36222-1
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-385-67821-6
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-4711-0242-4
Paperback - 321 pages - 978-0-345-80300-9
Open Ebook - 237 pages - 978-0-385-53664-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-385-67817-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-385-36224-5
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-4711-0241-7
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4711-0243-1
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