Lyrical and evocative, this first book in a new duology set in feudal Japan is beautifully written and masterfully plotted. Shades of Mulan and 47 Ronin frame the novel, but the fantasy elements and the vivid characters give the story its own distinct flavor. Sizzling romance, heated revenge and stunning revelations — all swirling amidst a lush setting and intense action — make this a definite must-read!

On her way to the imperial city to be introduced to her betrothed, Mariko — a samurai’s daughter — is left for dead when her convoy is brutally attacked by assassins. Instead of fleeing for home, she disguises herself as a peasant boy and seeks out the group she believes to be responsible — the infamous Black Clan. Desiring answers about the attempt on her life, Mariko unexpectedly finds herself falling in love — with her new identity, with this band of assassins and with one warrior in particular. As her twin brother Kenshin searches for Mariko, secrets are brought to light … secrets that could change everything. (G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS, May, 416 pp., $17.99, HC, 12 & Up)

Reviewed by: 
Carrie Townsend