Review – Shadow of the Ninja by Andrew Matthews

Today we have a review from Bookbabbler Anna..

Shadow of the Ninja – Andrew Matthews

This is the thrilling sequel to the Samurai tale The Way of the Warrior a story of truth, honour, bravery and love in sixteenth century Japan. Young samurai Jimmu puts his life on the line when he sets out to rescue his master s daughter from a rival warlord. Jimmu cannot save Takeko alone, so when he meets a band of ninja warriors, he is tempted to enlist their help. But samurai live by their code of honour, while ninjas are notorious cold-blooded killers. Will Jimmu join forces with the deadly ninja, and learn to live, and die, their way?

Shadow of the Ninja is a sequel to Matthews’ earlier book – The Way of the Warrior. To be honest I probably wasn’t the most suitable candidate to review this book. I hadn’t read the first book and secondly as an older teenage girl I’m probably not the intended audience. However I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Shadow of the Ninja can be enjoyed as a standalone and once I got reading I didn’t feel like it was majorly aimed at boys.

The story follows a a young samurai called Jimmu who is risking his own life to resuce his masters daughter, Lady Takeko, from a rival. He cannot do it alone though and so takes on the help of a group of ninja warriors. To begin with I thought it all sounded a little crazy but once I started reading I couldn’t really stop. My favourite character, after the protagonist Jimmu, had to be Ren. A female ninja who joins in on the highly dangerous mission to save Lord Ankan’s beloved daughter. She’s fun and feisty and really shows that girls can be just as forward thinking and good at fighting as boys.

The book is set in Japan in 1575 and I could sense the country through Matthews’ description. Apart from the evident violence though there was much less to suggest the time in which the book was set. It didn’t really matter though as it was the action that I enjoyed most of all. I was always tense as I was never sure if I could trust Jimmu’s companions and if they really could help Jimmu save Takeko from Lord Sabura.

Although it seems from the cover and from the blurb that this is a book for younger teenage boys perhaps, reviewing this book has proven that judgement very wrong. Shadow of the Ninja is a really exciting read and I think girls will enjoy it just as much as boys, I certainly did.

Thanks, Anna and thanks to Usborne Children’s Books for sending us a copy.