Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow

Posted by amanda on Oct 22nd, 2008
2008
Oct 22

I follow up reading Graceling with another book about sword wielding women.

Hana and Kimi are privileged daughters of the ruling Jito in feudal Japan. When their father and brothers are brutally murdered by their power hungry Uncle, the two girls flee to a martial arts academy run by Master Goku. Disguised as boys and working as servants, the girls hone their fighting skills. They plan to avenge their father’s death and reclaim the throne for their younger brother who is in hiding.

The girls have great dedication to the samurai code of discipline and to their family’s honor. Kimi has always wished to be a fighter and her father has allowed her to train in martial arts. The author incorporates many details of Japanese culture from tea ceremony to a vast knowledge of Japanese fighting styles.

The book stretched believability at times. The girls were supported by both their father and Master Goku in their desire to be fighters, despite both these men being products of a highly sex segregated culture. The girls had little to no trouble hiding their gender. They also dealt with the grief surrounding their father’s murder and the hardships of servant life more easily than seemed credible. The book was black and white with villains impossible not to loathe and heroines impossible not to cheer for.

Some of the simplicity of the plot and the characters made me feel this was meant for a younger audience (5th/6th grade), but the violence and death (decapitation, pools of blood) made me think it perhaps more appropriate for Junior High.
275p., 2008

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