on 9 March 2010
I am 11 and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It book 3 in the series and is full of surprises as Jack fights in a raging war against a daimyo who wants to banish all foreigners from Japan. The book has a surprising twist near the end that is so exciting it will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I would recommend this book to all readers with a taste for adventure, but read book one (Way of the Warrior) and two (Way of the Sword) first!
Sadly for now, the last offering in the series to date (although don't worry there is a fourth part arriving later in the year) and one that really doesn't pull any punches (or weapons for that matter) as the brutal side of the Japanese Feudal system rears its ugly head. Whilst the darkest of the series to date its one that the reader really will have problems setting to one side as this heart in mouth offering will keep you glued to each event as you try to figure out what is going to happen next.
Add to this a breakneck pace, harsh combat alongside honour, friendship and sacrifice which will make this a tale that will tick all the boxes for a vast majority of 11 year old readers. It's going to be a long wait for the next part but one that will be devoured as soon as it lands in a series that demonstrates that young adult fiction can be as complex as adult and just as rewarding.
on 6 April 2010
This series of books may be aimed at the teenage market but I can assure you that adults will enjoy it too. I'm 36 and loved every page.
This is book 3 in the series so far and personally I would say they keep getting better and better. You can tell from the authors writing that he really knows and loves what he is writing about. The action increases in this third book particulary, in the second half and will kep you on the edge of your seat until the gripping conclusion.
I can't recommend this book or the previous 2, highly enough.
Get on the Young Samurai bandwagon now before the Ninja are sent to get you.
on 11 April 2013
As a child I always wanted to be a Samurai warrior (well that or Aragorn from Lord of the Rings). My brother and I used to use bamboo sticks to fight with on a daily basis and more than once we'd enter the house muddy and bruised... Anyway, as I was saying, I wanted to be a Samurai. These books have given me a chance to live out my childhood fantasy. They're fabulously written and full of everything you could want in a book; action, suspense, a twist or two in the story line and a protagonist that at the age of 15 (18 now) you can relate to and empathise with (not that I've ever been lost in Japan). I have to say that the Young Samurai series is by far my favourite collection of books. They have the best spot on my bokshelf which until a few years ago was reserved strictly for Harry Potter (sorry J.K. Rowling, teenagers waving swords is more exciting than teenagers waving wands). I really need to keep to my main point, which is that these books are amazing. I recommend them to everyone. Way of the Dragon is my favourite but the rest of the series are equally as brilliant. I give it a 10/10 everytime and believe that it should be made compulsory that all school children read them before reaching the age of 16.
on 28 July 2011
The first trio of Young Samurai books reaches its climax in The Way Of The Dragon and this is actually a pretty harrowing climax. Gone is the safety of the training dojo, gone are the wooden training swords and gone is Jack's most prized possession. The samurai face a war on a massive scale and Jack must do everything in his power to find his father's rutter if he has any chance of saving his little sister. This time, it's serious.
As a gaijin, a foreigner, Jack is actually part of the cause of the coming war; the western presence that showed up at the beginning of The Way Of The Warrior is back and takes a central role in this third book. The Portuguese Jesuits may believe they come from a far more advanced civilisation and their mission is to enlighten this backward race but they could not be more wrong. Each page that lingers on the character of Father Bobadillo feels like it is heavy with poison, the Jesuit's presence is toxic to the beautiful and balanced way of life that already exists in Japan. It's just so frustrating that many samurai cannot see the good foreigners through all the bad ones, Jack has left the western world behind and adopted Japan but still he is discriminated against. I guess that's just old school racism for you but Chris Bradford plays this fraught situation out with great tension and moments of inspired hope.
I'm so glad Bradford spends so long on the build up to the great battle because he ekes out in great detail the kind of internal turmoil and terror that grips an inexperienced warrior as he stands and waits to join the fight. It's the mixture of fast paced action and gradually applied dread that makes the Young Samurai books so exquisite and this moment before the battle is the most terrifying experience I have ever had in a book. I could actually feel my nerves tingling and my adrenaline rushing and my body prepared my cowardly self to run where those young kids had to fight. It's just an incredible piece of writing that builds the tension and lifts the spirits with an unbending hope and suddenly your faith in humanity is catapulted into the stratosphere.
I'm not going to give anything away but the ending is a real testament to friendship and I think that's what this book really examines. It's about the sacrifices that people make for their friends and the enduring strength of the virtue of loyalty that is at the basis of bushido. A true warrior is not a lonely one. I honestly felt emotionally drained by the end of this book and just distraught at the way things played out but that is not a bad thing. Actually it shows just what a superb writer Chris Bradford is, the range of his ability is astonishing and I wouldn't change anything because I wouldn't not want to go through what I did as I read The Way Of The Dragon. In my opinion, it's a masterpiece and I'm just so glad I picked these books up because there would genuinely be a Jack shaped hole in my life if I hadn't. I am over the moon that there is a new series of Young Samurai and if I could I would lock Chris Bradford up in my cupboard (in a non-creepy way) and command him to write for all eternity because I do not want these books to end.
on 16 January 2016
The Way of the Dragon is the third novel in the series and you just fall in love with the protagonist Jack Fletcher even more and his friends. The Way of the Dragon just brings more suspense to the series and the adventure just keeps getting better and better. I absolutely love these books so much and highly recommend to anyone who is a Samurai/ Ninja enthusiast, these will be the best books you will ever read, absolutely outstanding. And for those who want to get an insight on the novel here is the synopsis from the back of the book:
JAPAN IS THREATENED WITH WAR AND SAMURAI ARE TAKING SIDES. AS THE BLOOD BEGINS TO FLOW, JACK FLETCHER'S WARRIOR TRAINING IS PUT TO THE ULTIMATE TEST. . .
His survival - and that of his friends - depend upon him mastering the Two Heavens, the secret technique of the legendary samurai Masamoto. But first Jack must recover his father's prize possession from the deadly ninja Dragon Eye.
Can Jack defeat his ruthless enemy?
Or will the ninja complete his mission
to kill the young samurai . . . ?