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With great expectations comes great responsibility. Is that how it goes? Wait, that’s what would happen if Spider Man and Charles Dickens hung out. Either way, it is how I felt about this book.

Who wouldn’t be excited about a fantasy series set in feudal era Japan. The prospect of sword fights, honor, ninjas, flying ninjas, demon ninjas, ninjas that could travel through time and space is just too good to be true, isn’t it?

Turns out it is. With so many possibilities for excitement and wonder, this book chose to go with boring and underwhelming. This is the third book in the series, and the whole thing has felt disjointed and unsure of what it wanted to be. In the end, it turned out to be a cop-out.

The most disappointing thing is that there is not the end of the series. There are two more books on my shelf, a prologue and an epilogue.

I would like to think it wasn’t that bad, but frankly there wasn’t anything memorable about it except the end. Perhaps it is the nature of Japanese fiction that everything must end in an earthquake. It did well for James Clavell, after all (see Shogun, my favorite book by far).

In the end, it was probably my own extremely high expectations that did this book in. It didn’t go nearly as far into fantasy as I would have liked, the character development was decent, but the plot really did not go very far.

Rating 2 out of 5 (see rating system)