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The Way of the Sword (Young Samurai) Hardcover – March 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Series: Young Samurai
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423120256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423120254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9 Bradford raises the stakes for his blond samurai student in this second installment in the series. Previously shipwrecked after his father was murdered by the ninja leader Dragon Eye, Jack is continuing his training as a samurai at his foster father's school for young warriors. Dedicated to keeping his father's navigational log from Dragon Eye, who has tried to steal it before, Jack hides the book at the castle of the daimyo, where he feels it will be safer. In the meantime, he must train to participate in the Circle of Three, a trial that would allow him to learn a double-sword-fighting technique, one he feels he needs to defend himself against the ninja's treachery. To add to his worries, his friend Akiko is acting strangely, disappearing in the night, and Jack suspects she may be training as a ninja. Bradford combines the structure of a British school story with the flavor of 17th-century Japan, and his descriptions of both swordplay and hand-to-hand martial arts reveal his extensive knowledge of the subject. Young martial artists will be eager to try out sticky-hands drills in their own dojos. Though the secondary cast is often too large to keep track of and only a few of the characters are fully developed, the ongoing struggle between honorable samurai and dastardly ninja will draw both reluctant readers and enthusiasts of Japanese history. Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In The Way of the Warrior (2009), shipwrecked Jack began his training as a samurai after watching the vile ninja Dokugan Ryu murder his father. In his second year of training, Jack perfects a few new techniques while dodging his adopted society’s increasing hostility toward foreigners. Bradford takes special care and pleasure in describing the minutiae of martial arts and other aspects of Japanese culture. With straightforward prose, he has managed to pen lively and exciting fight sequences and is slowly beginning to develop a keen edge to his cast of characters, laying significant groundwork for future installments. Grades 6-9. --Ian Chipman

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ckhealer on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the first 3 books of this series for my 9 year old grandson. He was not very interested in reading so I was trying to find something that would appeal to him. This series is great! He read the first book and went on to the next. He is captivated by the story. Highly recommended for adolescent boys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Tanenbaum VINE VOICE on July 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
British author Chris Bradford continues his action-packed saga of samurai and ninja in the second installment of The Young Samurai series: The Way of the Sword. Jack Fletcher, shipwrecked, orphaned by ninja pirates, and then adopted by a samurai in 17th century Japan, has completed his first year of samurai school. His problems are not over, however; his classmates still taunt him as a "gaijin" (barbarian foreigner), anti-Christian sentiment is spreading, and worse yet, the evil ninja Dragon Eye is still after Jack and his father's rutter, which contains the secret routes to navigate the world's oceans.

Once every three years, the samurai students have a chance to compete in the ancient ritual of the Circle of Three, testing their mind, body, and spirit. Those who pass this test will be allowed to learn Two Heavens, a secret martial art technique. Selection trials are held, and only the top five students progress to the Circle. Readers will not be surprised that Jack is among this elite group, as is his female friend, Akiko, and Kazuki, his arch-enemy at school. But will Jack be able to survive the competition?

I would not advise reading these books out of order; readers might be confused without the background from the first book in the series.

Highly recommended and fun action-packed story, great for fans of Japanese culture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Galke on May 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Way of the Sword is a wonderful follow up to the Way of the Warrior. As a Martial Artist and Martia Arts Instructor it was nice to see a story about a hero who has to struggle much like the rest of us real people. Too often authors create characters that have things come too easily to them. Here we see in Jack a boy who has to work hard and endure failure and frustration. The best part is that he doesn't give up. I have decided to make this book and The Way of the Warrior required reading for my students at Centennial Taekwon-Do because it teaches a valueable martial arts ethic, that of patience and perseverance. I want my students to read this book because it is fun and exciting, (very hard to put down), but also I want them to see a character with real experiences to be motivated and inspired.

Mr. Bradford continues to paint a beautiful picture of Japan in the 1600's and it's unique culture (a culture well worth learning about!)

I would recommend this book and Way of the Warrior to anyone of any age. I am anxiously waiting for the release of The Way of the Dragon here in the States!
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By Josetta Banks on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the book and it had the most interesting plot to it the book was able to make me imagine everything as clearly and as vivide as possible i really recommend it its good reading!!!!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Navigator on May 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Let me start off by stating that the first novel in this series was and is a true work of writing skill and the author did justice to the concept of a young boy stranded in a far away land, and by sheer wit and strength of character proved himself worthy. The first novel was a grand example of a writer taking an idea and writing a story, and doing so with grace, charm, and pleasure to a reader to take up a book and not put it down until you have finished with it.

Yet, this sequel is subpar at best when it comes to following the first. The storyline picks up about a year from the first one. A year has passed and our young hero is still trying to make his way through the pitfalls of living in Japan, a culture and place so alien and different from what he is use to that he longs for the days of his homeland and to find his younger sister, the only family he feels that he has left, therefore he continues to struggle with the concepts of everyday life while figuring out a way to get back to his native homeland.

Yet, throughout the entire storyline, our hero doesn't seem to have learned anything that helps him progress to this continued goal. He continues to make mistakes a child would normally made, yes, but he has been training to be a samurai and if I wanted to watch a child stumble through the woes of such every day foreign life I could have picked up a history book.

My main problem is the author doesn't make anything special about the boy. His sword play is subpar, his manners and etiquette of Japanese life is subpar, his attitude is subpar, and I'm truly surprised that he hasn't gotten himself beheaded yet through his own ignorance and stupidity.
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