THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR by Chris Bradford


Age Range: 9 - 13
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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)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1871-8
Page count: 368pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009