The Sword That Cuts the Burning Grass By Dorothy Thomas Hoobler

During Japan’s Edo period, a young samurai named Seikei is given the task to look after the emperor. On his way to Tokyo, a man asks him to report a suspicious rumor, but Seikei takes it lightly. He encounters the emperor whom he calls himself Risu, to find out that he was not that much older than Seikei was! But danger strikes about a day after Seikei arrives! The emperor has been kidnapped by ninjas, and the monks who were with him were killed. The officials that were with Seikei are upset with him. So they took his horse, and left him alone. For a while, Seikei thought of committing seppuku, which samurai’s thought was the honorable way to die if they were captured or they made a grave “mistake”. Instead he runs away to find the emperor. On the way he meets a servant girl named Hato and for a moment thought she was a goddess. Hato joins him on his journey to find the emperor. Along the way, they find out there is a group of people who want to overthrow the shogun and steal a precious relic. Seikei is doing all he can to try to stop the evil force. The Sword That Cuts the Burning Grass is an easy read. The authors of this book, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have won The Edgar Allen Poe Award for another book. They way they portray Feudal Japan is detailed but still easy to understand. The book might be too simple for some, but it is still perfect for people who love reading about Japanese culture.

Reviewed by Angela F.

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