In the epic historical novel Sword of Honor, David Kirk continues the saga of Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest samurai in Japanese history, as he journeys to the ancient city of Kyoto to fight for his life and his ideals.
Having survived the cataclysmic battle of Sekigahara, which established the mighty Tokugawa Shogunate, young Musashi Miyamoto travels through Japan determined to proclaim his revolutionary epiphany that the "way of the sword", the ancient code that binds samurai to their masters, needs to be abolished.
But during the battle Musashi insulted an adept of the powerful Yoshioka School, and a price has been put on his head. Musashi travels to Kyoto, domain of the Yoshioka, for a reckoning. He has taken up with Ameku, a beautiful blind woman branded as a witch; his burgeoning love for her will make him vulnerable.
Musashi intends to deal a crushing blow to the traditional samurai dogma by destroying the Yoshioka warriors, but Musashi will learn that his spectacular gifts with the sword are no match for the cunning of powerful lords. The wily Tokugawa governor, still struggling to establish dominance in Kyoto, sees in Musashi just the weapon he needs to overcome the rebellious Yoshioka.
Sword of Honor seamlessly blends meticulous research, mesmerizing action sequences, and a driving narrative to bring this extraordinary figure to life.
©2015 David Kirk (P)2015 Random House Audio
"There are lots of elements that make this novel an extraordinary read: the throat-gripping set pieces, beautiful imagery, crafty politics, and themes of ego, power, and individualism. Most of all, it is how this tale of a masterless samurai is rendered in language that feels like it's from a different time and place - not because of archaisms or cheap tricks but because it is slow without being tedious, and it emerges from a wholly foreign worldview without being incomprehensible to the modern mind. Musashi is an unforgettable character, and this novel should make Kirk a leading name in historical fiction." (Booklist)
"[P]oetic.... Kirk's vigorous and robust prose complements the action to make rousing historical and philosophical statements." (Kirkus Reviews)
"So authentic, it's easy to forget one is reading a novel...solid, action-packed, thoughtful." (Library Journal)
I read the book almost 25 years ago, and having it read instead of it being read. This brings in the tone and inflection words cannot. Although it is a written being spoken by a narrator. In the final chapters that lead up to the end rise and fall was constant. Hearing the book also gave me sense that he was a rebel and innovator. How Musashj committed himself to his way through his experience. He was trying to break tradition because he knew that this did not work.
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