Saturday 2 December 2023

Book Review: Song of the Samurai by C. A. Parker (Historical Fiction)

Title: Song of the Samurai
Author: C. A. Parker
Publisher: Running Wild Press
Publication Date: 7 May 2024
Pages: 310
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

Japan, 1745, is a land under the iron grip of the Tokugawa shoguns. Roads are monitored, dissent stifled, and order maintained through blackmail and an extensive network of informers. Amid rumors of rebellion, Kurosawa Kinko–samurai and monk–is expelled in disgrace as the head music instructor of his Zen temple in Nagasaki. He begins an odyssey across Japan, dogged by agents and assassins from an unknown foe. Along his journey, Kinko encounters a compelling cast of merchants, ronin, courtesans, spies, warriors, hermits, and spirits, on a quest to redeem his honor. Inspired by the life of the historical Kurosawa Kinko (1710-1771), master of the shakuhachi flute and founder of the Kinko-ryu school, Song of the Samurai takes the reader on a richly-textured exploration of feudal Japan and the complexities of the human spirit.


Song of the Samurai was a reasonably enjoyable piece of historical fiction. Kurosawa Kinko's journey, both literal and the existential, generally held my interest throughout; however, I was never deeply invested in the story or characters. I would have liked to have been able to get more emotionally involved than I did. Instead I always felt a tad removed from it all. On the whole, the book seemed well researched, though, with enough period detail to help paint the scenes. Therefore, I am giving it 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. Worth checking out if you are interested in historical fiction set in feudal Japan.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

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