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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 31 July 2012
I've read the prior 8 books (The 7 main ones and the WBD short story) and I have to say this one picks them up, throws them to the ground and pins them down. It is easily the best in the series. It has action, emotion, amazing sword fighting scenes and some seriously in depth views in to the life of a Samurai/Ninja/Sailor.
I've read hundreds of books in my life, many of them were part of a series. When I get to the end of a series I'm often disappointed with the ending but this is one of the very few exceptions. I recommend this story to everyone out there who has the ability to read and those that can't should learn just so that they can read them.
I collected the book at around 10:30 July 30th, after a solid 4 hours reading I had finished it. I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a tear or two, at one point I even fell off of my chair with excitement.

10/10. 110% brilliant. Top Marks. It deserves every award possible, easily one of my favourite books of all time.

Congratulations to Chris Bradford. You really out did yourself with this one.

Aidan Bracher
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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 13 January 2013
Well, those words do not appear in the book but that is all it is about. The escaping hero keeps running up against imossible odds and then with one bound (i.e. differently named japanese weapons and combat techniques) he is free until the end of the next chapter. And so it goes on until, in the end, he escapes, with the girl.
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on 21 December 2012
Let me start by saying if you've read any of the other Young Samurai books in the series, then prepare to be amazed. THe ring of Sky is action packed and will keep you hooked until you reach the last page. Its author Chris Bradford is a truly inspiring author and I would highly recomend all of his books, also he is really involved with his readers and you can even ask him questions on Facebook.

Charlie
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on 30 March 2013
How awesome can you get this review cannot be big enough to describe my feelings it is intense satisfying sorrowful and above all a major cliff hanger what happens next is anyone's guess but still I regretted miyuki having to die but all in all the best book in the series by a mile not to spoil it but an old friend returns anew I wish it was yamato but oh well
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on 11 January 2013
Brilliant series. I started reading these to my son (now 11) a couple of years ago and he is now enjoying reading them to himself. Brilliant story. Can't rate them highly enough. My son always wonders if Jack will actually pull through (even though he knows there is still loads of the book to go!). Difficult to put down once you're reading it.

Japanese words in the books show your children that you have to stop and think and struggle to pronounce some words too and those learning to read can relate to this (especially if you get them to help you and tell them that they can read the Japanese words better than you!)
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on 2 August 2012
I was the first person to this astounding finale to the young samurai series. To ask for a better ending would be impossible. Chris Bradford is the best author ever and I truely hope this book is a bestsellers. And Chris,if you're out there, we salute you!
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on 5 August 2012
Unfortunately, with the Olympics, I've been too busy working to read Ring of Sky yet but my son received it on its release and, being on his school holidays, has shut himself away in his room and simply devoured it! This review is therefore posted on his behalf and so as not to spoil my enjoyment, I've simply asked him three questions. Is it the best yet? - answer Yes!
Are there lots of surprises? - answer Yes!
Is it a worthy conclusion to the series - answer Oh Yes!!
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on 6 August 2012
Chris Bradford has the knack of keeping you hooked. And "The Ring of Sky", the 8th book in the "Young Samurai" series and Jack Fletchers final push to escape the Shogun's samurai and get home to England is no different. With the plot twisting and turning like a treacherous mountain road, you never know what awaits you behind the next bend: danger, heartache, joy or moments of pure hilarity, a new friend or a familiar foe.
The characters are likeable and feel authentic, because they all have their flaws to contend with and their own inner demons to battle. New characters feel like old friends after about three pages and familiar ones, that keep popping up throughout the series when you least expect them to, seem like you've known them for many years and it's not always easy to say goodbye.
What I like most about the series though is that it is not merely and action-packed adventure-story with nail-biting tension, but that it manages to be highly instructive at the same time, in a refreshingly offhand sort of way. Through Jack the reader gains an amazing amount of insight not only into Japanese culture and society at that time and of course into the field of martial arts, but also learns some important lessons of life: about determination, loyalty, friendship, kindness and personal strength.
So when you have followed Jack through all the highs and lows of his journey and his ultimate effort to reach home, you will have inadvertently absorbed some of that wisdom for yourself and have grown a little bit as a person, whether you are 9 or 90 years of age. I know I did and so did my girls, and that's exactly what will make "Young Samurai" always very special to me. Arigatô gozaimasu, Sensei Bradford, for giving us such an amazing treasure!
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on 22 June 2016
I wasn't sure what to expect with the young samurai books as they were originally recommended to me for my son. However once I picked up the first book I could not put it down and went on to buy each book in turn until I read this, the final book. I have enjoyed each book immensely, and this was no different. Full of twists, turns and intrigue, along with a healthy dose of bushido. Fantastic end to the series
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