Books by Chris Bradford

YOUNG SAMURAI by Chris Bradford
Released: March 16, 2010

Having completed the Way of the Warrior at Niten Ichi Ryu school, Jack is preparing to learn the Way of the Sword, the next discipline needed to defend his father's notebook and defeat the one-eyed ninja, Dragon Eye. When Masamoto announces a special challenge to learn his coveted fighting style, Jack knows this may be his opportunity. Though the second in Bradford's Young Samurai series, the work stands alone and doesn't require familiarity with the first text. Packed with staves, swords and martial arts, action dominates character development and historical setting. Jack's continual bemoaning of his outsider (gaijin) status in early-17th-century Japan quickly becomes annoying, especially for anyone vaguely familiar with the insular nature of traditional Japanese culture. The glossary and pronunciation guide will be quite helpful to curious readers, and the origami-crane directions add a touch of whimsy. Acceptable, but Jack could profit from a dash of wasabi. (Action. 9-12) Read full book review >
THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR by Chris Bradford
Released: March 3, 2009

In 1611, 12-year-old British sailor Jack Fletcher's ship is attacked by ninjas, and the entire crew, including Jack's father, the ship's pilot, are killed. Jack is saved by the samurai Masamoto Takeshi, who adopts him because they have a common enemy: The same ninja who killed Jack's father killed Masamoto's eldest son. Jack becomes a student at Masamoto's school. He makes a few friends and does well in training, but he has to endure cruel teasing, only finally winning respect by prevailing in a school competition and repelling another attack by the evil ninja Dragon Eye. Bradford's first, the start of a projected series, is a mixed bag at best. The few exciting scenes are outnumbered by lengthy lessons, and modern phrases destroy the historical ambiance. The artificial tension created by cliffhanger chapter endings is regularly undercut by a leap ahead in time at the beginning of the next chapter. Spend your samurai dollars on the vastly superior Seikei and Judge Ooka series by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. Despite the website hype, this is a commonplace James Clavell knockoff for kids. (Historical fiction. 9-13) Read full book review >