Review Blog

Aug 30 2011

The ring of water by Chris Bradford

cover image

Penguin, 2011. ISBN 978 0 141 33254 3.
(Ages 11+) Fantasy. Recommended. The fifth in the series, Young Samurai, begins with Jack Fletcher wakening stiff and sore, in a wayside, inn, having lost everything including his most precious thing, his memory. He has also lost his swords and his father's rutter, and so he goes to try and retrieve them. In doing so he meets up with a masterless Samurai called, Ronin, and a girl called Hana, an outcast. Jack has been trained as a Samurai and a ninja but because he is a gaijin, a foreigner, he is looked down upon by everyone else. As a result, the Shogun is after him, as he has expelled all the Europeans and Jack is just another one.
The story is at its heart a boy's own adventure, where the three overcome all odds and retrieve Jack's swords and rutter, with lots of fight sequences where Jack and Ronin are able to use their prodigious skills against the Shogun's men and other outlawed gangs trying to get them. An exciting well written read, which drags the reader along with great action sequences and some humour, this book will have readers eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
Mark Knight

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