15778328I was able to get my hands on an advanced copy of Child of Vengeance by David Kirk, and just in time before the publication of the book (due out in March), I am able to add this to my bookshelves.

Child of Vengeance has a really strong start and fascinating story, but the end is a little lacking.

The story of a boy named Bennosuke, the supposed son of a samurai warrior in an age where modern society is beginning it’s slow and inevitable encroachment on the ancient and traditional laws of feudal Japanese society.  We are introduced to Bennosuke as an abandoned and unwanted child in the village of Miyamoto, before his father returns to reclaim his son and teach him the ways of a samurai.

After the death of his father, we watch Bennosuke grow into a young man of sixteen, and follow him as he travels Japan trying to reconcile the two halves of his soul: the samurai warrior who’s only duty is to fight and die, as well as the peaceful scholar who wants nothing more than to live another day.  And in the end, he comes to a stunning realization that I believe sums up the entirety of the reason for the existence of samurai quite nicely.

In time, the events of Bennosuke’s life will be recorded in history under the name he takes to hide from his enemies: Musashi Miyamoto.

I really enjoyed Child of Vengeance.  The characters are interesting and you feel connected to them.  However the ending leaves something to be desired.  For three years Bennosuke has dedicated his life to one goal, and at the completion of it, he walks off into the sunset with no rhyme or reason as to what he will do now or where he will go.  And while you rejoice for him in some ways, in others it just feels like a really incomplete ending.  Maybe if the author had introduced something for Bennosuke to live for or go to once his mission was complete, it would have been better.  But now it just leaves you hanging.

But right up until the last chapter, it was really good.  Enjoy folks.

Two more to go!  Book number nine is hopefully going to be The Convent by Panos Karnezis.

8142914The crumbling convent of Our Lady of Mercy stands alone in an uninhabited part of the Spanish sierra, hidden on a hill among dense forest. Its inhabitants are devoted to God, to solitude and silence—six women cut off from a world they’ve chosen to leave behind. This all changes on the day that Mother Superior Maria Ines discovers a suitcase punctured with air holes at the entrance to the retreat: a baby, abandoned to its fate. Is it a miracle? Soon she will find that the baby’s arrival has consequences beyond her imagining, and that even in her carefully protected sanctuary she is unable to keep the world, or her past, at bay.Save