I. J. Parker

I love samurais. I like the action and the honor and the beautiful backdrop of Japan. Hubs and I watched another samurai movie and it occurred to me that there are probably books out there about samurais! Go figure! So I went online and found an author, I.J. Parker, who has written a whole series of books set in eleventh century Japan. The main character, Akitada, solves some mysteries and we learn a little about life in his era.

So I looked at my library and stumbled on a whole section of them! Who knew? I have only read a little historical fiction, mostly about US presidents or the old west. This is my first waaay-back historical fiction series, and I love it.

Akitada is extremely identifiable as a person. Even in eleventh century Japan, mothers can be difficult, work sucks, money is tight, etc. I am only 50 pages into Rashomon Gate (the first I found but technically the second in the series) but I love it. The characters are rounded, the backdrop is beautiful (spring in ancient Kyoto!), and the mystery is delicious. So far, only 50 pages in, there are already two big mysteries to solve. Akitada is intelligent, kind, respectful, and lots of other adjectives. His servant (a reformed highwayman) is a street smart clever man that perfectly compliments Akitada’s book smarts and polished people skills. I know I’ll read all of these. It’s a nice light story; a good plot but nothing too heavy to wade through or traumatic to get over. I even emailed Ms. Parker, and she responded right away! She told me that she will hopefully have more books for e-readers soon, probably the kindle. I look forward to that.

In short, I went out and tried something new. If you want to try something new, something out of the ordinary, something not in your TBR pile, try out some mystery in ancient Japan. Start with Dragon’s Scroll or Rashomon Gate. You will not be disappointed.

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