“When reading the book, I found myself doing what I only do with books i really enjoy – reading it in short bursts to make it last that much longer.”Dan Allen, Victorian Military History Society
Conrad Kinch’s first book is a well paced adventure set in Japan in the 1860s. I enjoyed it a lot and Mr Kinch really gets the reader believing that he is reading the words of a 19th century US Army officer and not a 21st century Irishman. I particularly liked the fact that his hero, Capt. Hood, is not a gung-ho cavalry officer of the type you used to see in John Ford Westerns, rather he’s an educated 19th century gentleman, capable of quoting Scott and Shakespeare as well as handling himself well in a fight.
However, the book is not simply a “Boy’s Own Paper” adventure. The conflicts in Japan between the samurai (on the way down) and the merchants and peasants (both on the way up) are bought into play, as is the overwhelming effect of the arrival of the foreigners and, most importantly, their military methods and firearms.
When reading the book, I found myself doing what I only do with books i really enjoy – reading it in short bursts to make it last that much longer.
Dan Allen, Victorian Military History Society – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“A cracking yarn! I particularly like how there are two variations on the story to be read, depending on which of the main characters is seeing things as they really are. A great first book from Kinch!”
“A cracking yarn!”Amazon Review - Nov 2017
“It reminded me (very favourably) of Henty.”Amazon Review - Nov 2017
“Set in Japan at about the time of the Edo Period (think approximately “The Last Samurai” period) when the European and American global powers are beginning to make trading inroads to Japan, and the samurai class are not always happy about it… the story is about a young American called Robert Hood, and a Japanese samurai called Otaro. Hood is ex-cavalry (it mentions his services in the Plains Indian wars, and Mexico), and handy with a weapon, and languages; Otaro is a Japanese master swordsman and magistrate. Hood is in Japan looking for commercial opportunities for his family (who are merchants), his family have suggested he travel with Otaro to learn more of the country. Either way, both characters are likeable, and on the journey to Otaro’s first case they come upon evidence of bloody murder, and the book is about the background to that.. I enjoyed it very much, lots and lots of period interest and colour, details on the Japanese sword schools/styles was fascinating, and the story fairly rips along without being unbelievable… it reminded me (very favourably) of Henty.. Recommended!”
“A good old fashioned piece of story telling. An intelligent plot, plenty of historical detail and I hope the first of many from this new author!”
“A good old fashioned piece of story telling”Amazon Review - Nov 2017