{I’m very sorry. It has been forever since I have posted anything. I have been busy reading some amazing books by Brandon Sanderson. But that is a story for another time.}

“Wherever it is you may be, it is your friends who make your world.”

Summary

JAPAN 1612.

One year of training in samurai school and Jack is in real trouble…
He’s struggling to prepare for the Circle of Three, an ancient ritual that tests courage, skill and spirit to the limit. At the same time, Jack is caught in a running battle with fellow student Kazuki and his gang.
But these are the least of Jack’s problems. He knows his deadly rival – the ninja Dragon Eye – could strike at any moment. Jack possesses the very thing he will kill for. Can Jack master the Way of the Sword in time to survive a fight to the death?

My Experiences

After reading the first book, I was obliged to read the next book as well. I love the hilarious quotes in this book that are listed below. By this book, you may already know the theme of this book, [with friends, anything is possible] but I really think this book enforces this theme so much. Jack and his friends are just such amazing characters. (I don’t really remember what I thought of this book after reading it, because it has been almost 6 months after I read this book) (Sorry!)

Quotes

“Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is true strength.”


“Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.”


“The impossible becomes possible if only your mind believes it.”


“A samurai must remain calm at all times even in the face of danger.”


“Don’t try to eat an elephant for lunch.”


“Impatience is a hindrance. As with all things if you attempt to take shortcuts, the final destination will rarely be as good and may even be attainable.”


{FYI- Yamato, Akiko, and Kiku are the main character, Jack’s, friends. Kazuki and Nobu are enemies of Jack, Akiko, and Yamato.}

{Also, please comment if you have any questions about what the Japanese words mean. I will happily reply. I have a dictionary page here.}

 

“Before Jack could answer, the sensei beckoned him over. “Come here! You to, Yamato-kin.”

Jack and a startled Yamato stepped out of line and approached Sensei Hosokawa.

Seiza,” he ordered, and the two of them knelt down. “Not you, Jack-kun. I need you to understand what it means to carry a katana. Withdraw your sword.”

Jack unsheathed his katana. The blade gleamed, its edge so sharp that it appeared to cut the very air itself.

Uncertain as to what Sensei Hosokawa expected of him, he fell into stance. His sword was stretched out in front of him, and he gripped the hilt with both hands. His feet were set wide apart, the kissaki level with the throat of his imaginary enemy.

Massamoto’s sword felt unusually heavy in his hands. Over the course of a year of kenjutsu training, his own bokken had become an extension of his arm. He knew its weight, its feel, and how it cut through the air.

But this sword was different. Weightier and more visceral. It had killed people. Sliced them in half. Jack suddenly felt the bloody history in his hands.

He was starting to regret his rashness at bringing the sword.

The sensei, noting with grim satisfaction the visible trembling of Jack’s katana, proceeded to remove a single grain of rice from his inro, the small wooden carrying case attached to his obi. He then placed the grain on top of Yamato’s head.

“Cut it in half,” he ordered Jack.

“What?” blurted Yamato, his eyes wide with shock.

“But it’s on his head—” protested Jack.

“Do it!” commanded Hosokawa, pointing at the tiny grain of rice.

“But . . . but . . . I can’t . . .”

“If you think you’re ready for such responsibility, now is the time to prove it.”

“But I could kill Yamato!” exclaimed Jack.

This is what it means to carry a sword. People get killed. Now cut the grain.”

“I can’t,” said Jack lowering his katana.

Can’t?” exclaimed Hosokawa. “I command you, as your sensei, to strike at his head and slice that grain in half.”

Sensei Hosokawa grabbed Jack’s hands and brought the sword into direct line with Yamato’s exposed head. The minuscule grain of rice perched there, a white speck in a mass of black hair.

Jack knew that the blade would slice through Yamato’s head as if it were no more than a watermelon. Jacks’s arms quivered uncontrollably, and Yamato gave him a despairing look, his face completely drained of blood.

“DO IT NOW!” commanded Hosokawa, lifting Jack’s arms to force him to strike.

The rest of the students watched with dread fascination.

Jack’s friend, Akiko, looked on fearfully. Beside her, her best friend, Kiku, a petite girl with dark shoulder length hair and hazelnut-colored eyes, was almost in tears. Kazuki, Jack’s rival, was apparently relishing the moment. He nudged his ally Nobu, a large boy with the build of a mini-Sumo wrestler, and whispered in his ear, loud enough for Jack to hear.

“I bet you the gaijin chops of Yamato’s ear!”

“Or maybe his nose!” chortled Nobu, a grin spreading across his podgy face.

The sword wavered in the air. Jack felt any control over the weapon drain from his body.

“I . . . I . . . can’t.” Jack stammered. “I’ll kill him.”

Defeated, he lowered the katana to the floor.

“Then I’ll do it for you,” said Sensei Hosokawa.

Yamato, who had let out a sigh of relief, instantly froze.

In the blink of an eye, the sensei withdrew his own sword and cut down onto Yamato’s head Kiku screamed as the blade buried itself in his hair. Her cry reverberated throughout the Butokuden.

Yamato fell forward, his head dropping to the ground.

Jack saw the tiny grain of rice peel apart and fall in two separate pieces onto the dojo floor.

Yamato remained bowed, trembling like a leaf, trying to regain control of his breathing. Otherwise, he was completely unscathed. The blade had not even grazed his scalp.

Jack stood motionless, overwhelmed at Sensei Hosokawa’s skill. What a fool he had been to question his sensei’s judgement. Now he understood the responsibility that came with a sword. The choice of life over death was truly in his hands. This was no game.

“Until you have complete control,” said Sensei Hosokawa, fixing Jack with a stern look as he resheathed his katana, “you don’t have the skill to warrant carrying a real blade. You’re not ready for the Way of the Sword.”


If you are ready for the Way of the Sword, You can find the book at some of these places:

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

Chris Bradford Website

 

Cite this article as: Serene Haroon, "Young Samurai: Way of the Sword By Chris Bradford," in {sereneharoon.com}, December 20, 2015, http://sereneharoon.com/2015/12/young-samurai-way-of-the-sword-by-chris-bradford/.

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Young Samurai: Way of the Sword By Chris Bradford

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