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Sword of Honor de David Kirk
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Sword of Honor (edição: 2015)

de David Kirk (Autor)

Séries: Musashi Series (2)

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464554,173 (4.14)Nenhum(a)
IN THE EPIC HISTORICAL NOVEL SWORD OF HONOR, DAVID KIRK CONTINUES THE SAGA OF MUSASHI MIYAMOTO, THE GREATEST SWORDSMAN IN JAPANESE HISTORY, AS HE JOURNEYS TO THE ANCIENT CITY OF KYOTO TO FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE AND HIS IDEALS. Having survived the cataclysmic battle of Sekigahara, which established the mighty Tokugawa Shogunate, young Musashi Miyamoto travels through Japan determined to proclaim his revolutionary epiphany that the "way of the samurai," the ancient code that binds warriors to their masters, needs to be abolished.      But during the battle Musashi insulted an adept of the powerful Yoshioka school, and a price has been put on his head. Musashi is drawn to Kyoto, domain of the Yoshioka, driven by anger and certain that he will deal a crushing blow to the traditional samurai dogma by destroying the school. Musashi will learn, however, that the capital of the nation is rife with intrigue and potential rebellion against the newly established government, a struggle into which he unwittingly enters.      Among other outcasts, Musashi will find the worth of his spectacular skill with the sword weighed against the deep cunning of manipulative Lords, and must make his reckoning with the Yoshioka, the way of the samurai, and ultimately his own nature. Only then will he be able to take one step closer to becoming the wise old sage who wrote The Book of Five Rings.      Sword of Honor seamlessly blends meticulous research, mesmerizing action sequences, and a driving narrative to bring this extraordinary figure to life.… (mais)
Membro:LeonDjannovic
Título:Sword of Honor
Autores:David Kirk (Autor)
Informação:Doubleday (2015), 464 pages
Coleções:Lista de desejos
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Sword of Honor de David Kirk

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Exibindo 4 de 4
I loved this book. Far better than the first - which i gave 4 stars.

Looking back over the 2 books it felt to me like David gained in confidence writing tales about Musashi and also that he has come to know him better - like he's beginning to get inside his head more.

But then i suppose the first book was more about Musashi the youth, just beginning to find himself, and this book is more of Musashi as a young man puzzling over what he's found and finding more - and this reflects well in the writing of both books.

Once again, David's writing is superbly descriptive without overdoing it. The story just keeps on moving and i just didn't want to put it down - like the first book, no pregnant pauses await within, it's just full gas all the way.

I do hope #3 won't be too long, i'm hooked! ( )
  5t4n5 | Aug 9, 2023 |
Musashi Miyamoto, the young protagonist of this absorbing, far-ranging novel (and a real seventeenth-century figure), walks away after the battle of Sekigahara, determined to live. For this revolutionary decision, which the samurai code calls the height of dishonor, Musashi becomes an outlaw.

Three transgressions make the young man’s life forfeit. First, he fought for a lord on the losing side, for which Musashi should have committed seppuku, ritual suicide. However, he’s long detested that custom and goes into hiding instead. Second, he’s accused of having insulted a warrior from a powerful clan whom he slew in single combat, a charge he denies, to no avail. Thirdly, and most significantly, he announces to all and sundry that seppuku is criminal nonsense; that the samurai code, known to initiates as “the Way,” is morally false; and that any man who kills for a cause other than his own—as when a lord commands him to—is a coward.

Not content with that, Musashi takes these views on the road, trying to prevent seppuku when he happens across it, and fending off the samurai despatched to kill him.

In other hands, perhaps, this arresting premise would merely provide excuses for grisly combat, of which there’s no shortage here, or an adventure story that makes the pages turn rapidly, as these do. But Kirk has much bigger psychological, political, and moral game in mind, and his epic sweep, focus on justice, and using a specific case to portray an entire society remind me of Kurosawa films like Rashomon or Seven Samurai. Throughout the novel, characters constantly challenge themselves and others to define what the purpose of violence is, and what an individual person is to make of that.

Musashi sees no other choice—indeed he seeks no other—than to prove by the sword that the Way is bankrupt. The contradiction is obvious, but not to Musashi, who believes he’s honest because he fights only for himself and his ideals. He assumes that each martial victory will convince other samurai to abandon the Way, and he’s astounded when they respond by trying to attack him.

But there’s more. The samurai sent to kill him, Akiyama, is himself an outcast, and Kirk exploits that, leading Akiyama to question why he’s been sent on this mission, and what, precisely, is the moral threat that his quarry represents. Along the way, Musashi lands with a blind woman and a young girl who challenge his assumptions, and among whom he becomes a different person from the raging swordsman who enjoys the combat at which he’s preternaturally gifted.

Is there yet more? Yes, there is. Musashi’s quest brings him to Kyoto, where an uneasy peace simmers with conflict. The Tokugawa Shogunate, the victors of Sekigahara, have moved the capital to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and left behind a military governor. Many people in Kyoto resent the Tokugawa for that, perhaps none more than the Yoshioka, a famous samurai school. It’s their champion whom Musashi allegedly insulted at the battle, and they’re a political power in the city. Staying out of trouble is therefore a full-time job for Musashi, and he’s no good at it.

Sword of Honor follows Child of Vengeance. Each stands on its own, though the precursor shows how Musashi has always had a dual nature, with healing impulses as well as violent ones. Sword of Honor is a deeper, more proficient novel, though, and I’m glad to see that Kirk has taken to showing his characters’ emotions more often than telling them, a flaw that marred the previous book at times. I could have done with fewer, less grisly battle scenes, but none seemed gratuitous, and there’s no denying that the samurai world, as with any knightly class, was based on violence. ( )
  Novelhistorian | Jan 31, 2023 |
Read 01-25-2017 a keeper
  trexm5qp7 | Jan 31, 2017 |
I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of this period in Japanese history is non existent. I’ve read a few books from this era and I do enjoy venturing afield from Tudor England where I spend a fair amount of my historical reading. When I was offered this novel about a rogue samurai I was very intrigued. I didn’t realize at first that it was based on a real person. That always makes a book more interesting for me.

Musashi Miyamoto was on the losing side of the definitive battle at Sekigahara leaving him on the run and with an assassin after him. He insulted a member of the vaunted Yoshioka samurai school and for that he must die. But Musashi has come out of the battle with a new outlook on life. A radical new way of thinking that goes against everything he has ever been taught – he feels that the Way of the samurai is all wrong and he is going to go to the heart of the Yoshioka in Kyoto and show them. Or die trying.

This is a complicated and well written book. Deeply researched and rich in the lore of the samurai. Mr. Kirk’s way with words at times is just magical. There is a scene near the beginning of the book where a new sword is being created and I found myself lost in the beauty of the scene he was setting with flow of his sentences. I went back and read it again. There are many places when this happens because the placement of one word next to another next to another for a series of sentences creates that special alchemy that causes the reader to pause and marvel at the beauty of what they just read.

Unfortunately the whole book did not maintain that magical quality and at times I wanted to shake Musashi because he would start acting like a child out of nowhere. There was a bit of disconnect here and there but not enough to ruin my overall enjoyment of the book. I also found myself confused at times and having to go back and reread to figure out what I had missed. Factors that would really cause me to rate a book far lower than I have this one but the passages of magic so make up for the flaws. I am looking forward to the next volume in this series following the life of the man who would change the Way. ( )
  BooksCooksLooks | Jan 18, 2016 |
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IN THE EPIC HISTORICAL NOVEL SWORD OF HONOR, DAVID KIRK CONTINUES THE SAGA OF MUSASHI MIYAMOTO, THE GREATEST SWORDSMAN IN JAPANESE HISTORY, AS HE JOURNEYS TO THE ANCIENT CITY OF KYOTO TO FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE AND HIS IDEALS. Having survived the cataclysmic battle of Sekigahara, which established the mighty Tokugawa Shogunate, young Musashi Miyamoto travels through Japan determined to proclaim his revolutionary epiphany that the "way of the samurai," the ancient code that binds warriors to their masters, needs to be abolished.      But during the battle Musashi insulted an adept of the powerful Yoshioka school, and a price has been put on his head. Musashi is drawn to Kyoto, domain of the Yoshioka, driven by anger and certain that he will deal a crushing blow to the traditional samurai dogma by destroying the school. Musashi will learn, however, that the capital of the nation is rife with intrigue and potential rebellion against the newly established government, a struggle into which he unwittingly enters.      Among other outcasts, Musashi will find the worth of his spectacular skill with the sword weighed against the deep cunning of manipulative Lords, and must make his reckoning with the Yoshioka, the way of the samurai, and ultimately his own nature. Only then will he be able to take one step closer to becoming the wise old sage who wrote The Book of Five Rings.      Sword of Honor seamlessly blends meticulous research, mesmerizing action sequences, and a driving narrative to bring this extraordinary figure to life.

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