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In the Service of Samurai Paperback – December 27, 2002

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


I highly recommend you go out and get it and be prepared to enjoy a trip to Medieval Japan. -- Timeless Tales - Jameela

Oliver has created a work of atmosphere, adventure and fun. I recommend you start your quest for a copy today. -- Washington Science Fiction Journal - Colleen R Cahill

This is a magical, unique novel which deserves wide recognition. -- Crystal Reviews - Viviane Crystal

This novel is truly original. -- Eternal Night

This original and entertaining tale is sure to satisfy anybody who is looking for something a bit different. -- My - Rachel A Hyde

From the Inside Flap


His prison’s blank, glowing walls glared silently at him as he entered. A dead certainty stole over him then, and though the unearthly cold of the ship was mercilessly flowing into him, he didn't run for his blanket when he was released. Instead, he turned around to face the departing samurai.

"Asaka-sama, please. I beg you!" He sank to his knees, his hands face down against the floor, and his eyes closed in supplication. "Release me. Take me home. I can be of no use to you. Please, I don't belong here!" His voice got caught in his throat. "Please, Lord, I beg you!"


Toshi pressed his forehead against the floor's glowing planks, shooting cold passing through it as it was already doing through his knees and hands. He shut his eyes tighter with a prayer, his heart quickening as he heard the sound most dreaded by his people everywhere. His acrid breath hung still in his raw throat as the soft click of a katana being slightly drawn from its sheath reverberated in the room's silence. He waited for the end.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Zumaya Publications, LLC (December 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894869672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894869676
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,282,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gloria Oliver lives in Texas making sure to stay away from rolling tumbleweeds, freak storms, and bowing to the wishes of her feline and canine masters.

She is the author of five published novels in the genres of fantasy, YA fantasy, and urban fantasy.

She's also a member in good standing of EPIC and BroadUniverse, but hasn't yet made it onto the list for Cat Slaves R Us.

For sample chapters, free shorts and more information, please come visit her at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
by Jameela
"In the Service of Samurai" takes place in a fictional setting of Medieval Japan. The Asaka Clan has come back from the dead and risen from the depths of the sea to finally complete the mission they were sent out to do. In this epic adventure, the unwilling key that will complete the Asaka clan's mission is a peasant boy named Toshi. Toshi must help the Asaka clan succeed and face many dangers or risk becoming what the Asaka Clan has become, the undead.
Toshi was sold to his master, a mapmaker named Hirojima Shun, when he was very young. Now, at the age of fifteen, he is an apprentice mapmaker. Master Shun is unwell and Toshi is in charge of the shop, when a Samurai, with glowing green eyes, comes in minutes before closing. For the first time in his life he has proof that "obake" (or monsters) actually do roam the world. The Samurai standing before him is an "obake" and has come for him. Toshi is kidnapped from his home and pressed into the company of a ship full of the undead Asaka Clan. The enemies of the Asaka Clan attempt to stop Toshi from completing the task his new master has given him by making him one of the truly dead.
Gloria Oliver has created an exciting and entertaining adventure with "In the Service of Samurai". Although it may take you a chapter or two to really get into the story, it is well worth reading. "In the Service of Samurai" is about honor, betrayal, love, faith, and friendship. While reading "In the Service of Samurai" you get to know Toshi well, and feel as if you are right there with him throughout his adventures. As the story unfolds, Toshi meets new and dangerous challenges and discovers that not everything is as it seems.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Swanson on December 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
In a medieval Japanese village, a powerful samurai kidnaps a fifteen-year-old mapmaker. The hapless young boy, Chizuson Toshiro, is thereby thrust into a world honeycombed with riddles and undergirded with darkness. Virtually everyone Toshi meets for the next 300 pages of this novel is a ghost.

In Service of the Samurai is a neatly spun fantasy in which a young boy comes of age in the midst of an extraordinary journey. As the masked geisha, Miro, slowly gets a grip on Toshi's heart, he finds himself beginning to care about his captors. Stockholm syndrome or not, they redeem themselves by giving Toshi a chance to choose his own path and make his own life.

At its core, In Service of the Samurai is a classic mythic story about a hero's journey. It is a minutely imagined fantasy that transports readers to a highly nuanced world. The pacing is not for those who like a plot that whisks along. But for my money, this is a story worth the reading.

Review by Cheryl Swanson, Author of Death Game and reviewer with Gotta Read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Toshi the mapmaker receives an unusual visitor to his shop and is launched on a unique, unpredictable adventure to save the souls of a fallen samurai and his retinue. It mixes the elements of the classic ghost story with those of an epic quest and tosses it into the mysterious world of old Japan. The result is an entertaining read with tingling, spooky moments (the scene in the temple is worth the price of the book). Occasionally the pace seems slow, but the lead character is easy to relate to as he comes of age. Recommended.
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