Friday, September 27, 2013
From the Tour's Home Page:
The setting for The Shogun's Daughter is an unusual one to me, ancient Japan in the time of Shogun rule. I don't know much about the Shogun but I know Samurai were prevalent and lived by a code of honor and ritual. The time frame, cultural aspects and a murder mystery are what drew me to this book.
This story contains several interesting threads outside of the murder mystery: Sano's search for the truth which can not help but be wrapped up and twisted within all of the court intrigue, Sano's son and his journey to be just like his Dad, and Hirata, a friend of Sano who is having difficulties of his own, very mystical and spiritual difficulties. While I enjoyed reading how these events evolved and were connected to each other, I never felt any real connection to the characters. I never felt as though I really got to know them and therefore I had no real investment in any of them.
This book is the 17th in Rowland's series featuring Sano, and this may be why. Most of the character development and connections have probably occurred much earlier in the series. I likened it to picking up a TV show out of the blue and not being able to make sense of the looks between characters or being able to pick up those inside jokes. As you probably know, like'em or hate'em, I need to have a connection with characters in books, or else I am not as interested in the overall story. This is why this book was not as compelling for me as others have been.
Overall the writing and details of ancient 1700's Japan were enjoyable and have pushed me to search out other stories set during this time period. As far as pace with the story, I think Rowland did a good job with that as well. It wasn't long and drawn out, and the pages did go by quickly.
Be sure to visit the other tour stops to see what others thought, because I am sure others enjoyed this one more than me. That being said, I do plan to get the first book in this series and see how it all began. Sano seems like a good guy, and I'm sure his origins story is pretty interesting.
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