Kill the Shogun

by Dale Furutani

William Morrow, September, 2000.
Hardcover, 240 pages.
ISBN: 0688158196

Kill the Shogun by Dale Furutani Masterless samurai Matsuyama Kaze is weary from his long and, so far, fruitless search of Japan for the daughter of his slain Lord and Lady. Kaze has he vowed he would not rest until he found their abducted daughter, and his quest has now taken him to the new capital of 17th century Japan, Edo (now Tokyo). When an assassination attempt on the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the new Shogun, fails Matsuyama is blamed for the crime. On the run from the authorities, Matsuyama nevertheless determines that the young girl he seeks is being held captive at the Little Flower, an infamous brothel specializing in children. Now Matsuyama must utilize all of his skills and intelligence in order to rescue the girl and to prove his innocence -- before he is executed as traitor to the Shogun.

Kill the Shogun is the last book in Dale Furutani's compelling trilogy which features the masterless samurai, or ronin, Matsuyama Kaze. Each chapter is prefaced with a lovely, original haiku, which comments on the action to come. Seventeenth century Japan really comes alive in this exciting adventure story which features a complex hero who is ruthless, yet compassionate, ferocious, yet tender when need be. And he is an absolute terror in combat. In his quest, Kaze has met a wonderful cast of characters -- soldiers, statesmen, actors and artisans are all skillfully drawn by Furutani. Although this book is billed as the last in a trilogy, the ending seems to hint at a sequel. That would be welcome news indeed for the many who will be sad indeed to see the end of the adventures of Matsuyama Kaze.

--Claire E. White

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This review was published in the February, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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