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4.8 out of 5 stars58
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 August 2011
So having been sent a copy of this book i felt obliged to read it, im not a massive fan of grown ups reading kids books, if you want to know if a kids book/ Young Adult book is any good, ask a kid/ Young Adult...not an old fart.
But i was mildly surprised with this one, all the hype and marketing blurb about awards etc... usually leave me suspicious and cold to a book, and i was sceptical about this one. However this is an author who lives his subject matter and it comes across in the writing, so the guy can kick and punch and throw and swing a sword, but can he write...simple answer is yes, the characters are engaging, the action is real and the style of writing draws you in, and does not talk up or down to the reader, it just is, and its written in a style that while easy is not simplistic.

I would have no hesitation in buying this for my nephews and nieces.

(Parm)
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on 16 January 2016
The Ring of Fire is the 6th book of the Young Samurai and this book will floor you from the very first page all the way to the finish Jack's adventures have brought him yet again to a troublesome challenge yet again on his travels to Nagasaki and then from there hopefully home to his beloved little sister Jess and homeland England. This is an absolutely brilliant edition to the series and recommend it to anyone because they are fantastic! A synopsis from the back of the book to give a taste of the adventure to come:

JACK FLETCHER FACES HIS TOUGHEST CHALLENGE YET. . .

After a snowstorm forces him to take shelter, Jack comes across a village in need of protection from raiding mountain bandits. Torn between moving on or helping, Jack is persuaded to stay and fight the villager's cause.

But Jack is the first and only samurai to do so. Now he must enlist other warriors to the villager's aid before the bandits return to steal their harvest. No easy task when the reward is so little and he is a foreigner. If only he had his friends to call on . . .

Using the Ring of Fire, can Jack overpower the bandits and win?
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I've been a fan of the Young Samurai series for quite a while, so when I had the opportunity to read the latest outing, I really couldn't refuse. What Chris does in this title is bring his love of Akira Kurosawa to the young reader as his own interpretation of the Seven Samurai fight to save a village from raiders. It exhibits positive attributes such as honour, friendship and courage and gives the reader an ideal to live up to.

Add to this cracking pace, great prose and an adventure to devour as part of the lead characters tribulation to find his way home, and it was a very satisfying read. All in a great bit of fun and when some old friends appear it has some heart stopping moments which make this latest release an absolute corker. Definitely a series I'd recommend for Christmas and prepare to silence whilst it's being enjoyed.
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on 30 September 2013
My 12 year old son loves these books and has been completely captivated by the Samurai series. They have to be read in order as they each follow on from the one before.
Also loved Chris Bradford's "Bodyguard". I think this author knows how to inspire boys.
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on 9 August 2011
I've bought the three first books in Dutch, but I couldn't wait anymore, so now I'm buying the series in English. I say The Ring of Fire is the best book in the whole series. As always, you learn something about the Japanese life, which is very interesting. That, and the action, makes Young Samurai a unique young adult series. You start to know the characters, which is always a good sign. What I like specially about this book, is the fact that for the very first time since Jack is on his way to Nagasaki, he isn't alone anymore. Now he has friends who support him - which is another reason why these books are very "attractive". They explain the meaning of friendship. Personally, I think this is the most happy ending of all six written books by now. I REALLY LOVE THIS SERIES!

From a Dutch speaking Young Samurai/Chris Bradford admirer.
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on 4 June 2015
Very well written and obviously very well researched. A serie of stories of friendship, brotherly and sisterly love, respect, honour and hatred and treachery, We followed Jack from being a 12 year old boy to a 16 year old young man and although there was some hugging between Jack and his male and female friends at no time was their any sex or inappropriate touching mentioned - sadly unusual in today's books. I enjoyed the whole series from start to finish and can only hope that Jack made it back safely to England and was reunited with his sister, and that he lived a happy and safe life which he deserved after all that he had been through.
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on 18 May 2015
This book is amazing. Right from the first word is was hooked up. I simply loved the action bits and the ending is not what I expected but it was very, very interesting. Chris Bradford is really good at writing stories especially ones like this. I liked the bit where Jack along with the others fought the bandit. The book held SO MANY surprises. In adfition with that there was a lot of humor. I fell of the bed from laughing at the funny bits. I would give this the best award for everything. 100/100. TOTALLY AMAZING.
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on 19 February 2013
It was a very exiting book with lots of excitement. Jack flethcher is with his friends when they are caught by the shoguns samurai jack uses his ninja skills to escape. He is trying to find all of his belongings with a ronin and a girl called Hana. They find jacks pearl but it is attached to a merchants wifes hair which is very funny.
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on 12 August 2011
In The Book of Five Rings episodes of Young Samurai, I've really enjoyed exploring the rest of Japan with Jack: finding out what exists beyond the walls of the samurai school and meeting an ever unique cast of new characters. That being said, I have to say I was gushing with excitement to see some of the old characters make a reappearance in The Ring of Fire. I'm not going to tell you which ones they are but I can honestly say I was on the verge of tears to see them again, just when Jack needed his friends the most. I've never done that before with a book - feel genuine joy when fictional characters come back into my life - so it really is a testament to how Chris Bradford sews these unique and unforgettable people in the fabric of your soul when they've never actually existed.

Despite the reappearance of old friends and the forging of new friendships, The Ring of Fire is a real test for Jack to stand on his own. Before, there have always been older samurai or ninja giving him orders, advising him what to do and generally saving his butt at the crucial moment but now that Jack's only allies are all teenage samurai with as much if not less battle experience than him, the task of leadership falls on his head. It's daunting at first but as a dedicated Jack fan, you know he has it in him and at last all his training and all the lessons in strategy that he has learned throughout the preceding five books come together and once again his abilities and his bushido inspire the instant and unconditional loyalty in those around him.

As I've said in reviews of previous Young Samurai books, you learn something new about 17th century Japan in every book and in The Ring of Fire it is the Japanese class system that is highlighted and with it the cracks in the system are shown. I've put a lot of faith in bushido so far but in fact it seems that most samurai have never heard of the concept of the way of the warrior. Their stomachs are fed by the peasants of Japan yet the farmers are seen to be too lowly to bother fighting for, they only want to fight for the wealthy to earn great rewards. They want to pick and chose their fights, yet Jack, who has been the victim of relentless prejudice, is the first one to know no prejudice when someone cries for help. I think the greatest lesson in The Ring of Fire is that no desperate cause is not worth fighting for, no matter how lowly the desperate are. The greatest glory is that which comes from no glory. That is why Jack is the embodiment of bushido and through his friendship others come to know the true meaning of the way of the warrior. I think that's why Chris Bradford is so determined to keep killing off some of my favourite characters, because sacrifice is the ultimate act of a person who has come to know the true meaning of what it is to be samurai. An honourable death is the only way they can become true heroes - and live forever.
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on 19 January 2016
These books are just terrific. Adventure with History. I have just finished reading book 6 to my 8 year old. Started on the series about 15 months ago. I was worried they might be too old for him but he loves them. We cannot wait to see where jacks story leads to next. Grippingly told stories
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