Title: Daughter of the Sword
Author: Steve Bein
First published January 10, 2012
468 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780451464774 (ISBN10: 045146477X)
Mariko Oshiro is the only female detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit. She may have fought for every ounce of respect, but nothing could have prepared her for the case she’s about to take on.
When Mariko’s boss hands her the seemingly unimportant task of investigating the attempted theft of an old samurai sword, she quickly realizes that there’s more to this case than meets the eye. The sword’s owner, Professor Yasuo Yamada, claims that it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, whose blades are rumored to hold magical qualities.
But the man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma – one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it.
As Mariko delves deeper into the case, she discovers that she’s on a collision course with a curse that’s centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She’s not the first warrior to confront this power, and she won’t be the last.
But with the help of the sword she learns to wield, Mariko might just be able to break the curse once and for all. The only problem is, the sword could turn against her at any moment.
Will Mariko be able to master the sword and defeat the curse, or will she become just another victim of its deadly power?
Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein is a thrilling and thought-provoking novel that seamlessly blends elements of historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy. Published on January 10, 2012, this book introduces readers to a unique and compelling world that is both familiar and fantastical.
Steve Bein is an American author and philosopher who has a deep understanding of Japanese culture and history. The author’s expertise is evident throughout the novel, as he expertly weaves together historical and cultural details with gripping characters and an intricate plot.
The novel follows three main characters: Mariko Oshiro, a detective in Tokyo’s police department; Yamada, a retired samurai; and Mai, a swordswoman from San Francisco. Mariko is investigating a suspicious murder that leads her to Yamada, who possesses a mysterious sword with a supernatural power.
Mai is seeking the same sword, which belonged to her grandfather, and her quest takes her to Tokyo. As the three characters’ paths intertwine, they must confront their pasts and navigate dangerous political and supernatural forces to protect the sword and uncover the truth behind the murder.
Bein’s writing is superb, and his characters are complex and fully realized. Mariko, Yamada, and Mai are all flawed but relatable, and their struggles are captivating.
The author does an excellent job of bringing Japanese culture and history to life, and the novel is filled with fascinating details about samurai, sword-making, and Japanese folklore. The blend of history and fantasy is seamless, and the supernatural elements of the novel are both eerie and exciting.
The pacing of the novel is excellent, and the plot is full of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. Bein’s prose is elegant and evocative, and he paints vivid pictures of Tokyo and San Francisco.
However, at times, the pacing can feel slow, and some readers may find that the novel is overly complex or convoluted.
Daughter of the Sword is a fantastic novel that will appeal to fans of historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy. It is a beautifully crafted book that transports the reader to a fascinating world full of danger, intrigue, and magic.
The novel’s themes of family, honor, and sacrifice are timeless, and Bein’s exploration of these themes is both nuanced and thought-provoking.
In conclusion, Daughter of the Sword is a must-read for anyone who loves a good mystery or historical fiction novel. It is a well-written and engaging book that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
However, the novel’s complexity may not be suitable for all readers, and some may find it slow-paced at times. Overall, Daughter of the Sword is a fantastic novel that deserves to be read and enjoyed by a wide audience.
Washington Post gives this book a 4.5 out of 5 rating.