Inspired by the true story of sixteenth-century samurai Musashi Miyamoto, David Kirk has crafted a rich, absorbing novel of one young man’s coming of age at a crucial turning point in Japanese history.
Thirteen-year-old Bennosuke is deeply disconnected from the rest of his village. When he was five, his mother died, and his father, a powerful samurai, has been traveling the country in service to his lord ever since. Raised by his uncle, a monk, who has tried to teach his charge to eschew violence and martial glory and embrace knowledge and peace, Bennosuke worships his absent, renowned father, Munisai. Subject to shifting alliances beyond his control, Munisai has become indebted to the odious Nakata clan. This escalating feud forces him to return home to his village—followed by his enemies. Now Bennosuke will be forced to confront harsh truths about his family history and his own place in it—and to choose between the paths of samurai and monk.