Secret Samurai Trilogy

Secret Samurai Trilogy : Book One, Tangled Lives

3.5 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Book One of the continuing story of the Secret Samurai Trilogy.

Two women samurai . . . two different centuries. A story of secrets, lies, love, war and ambition that has consequences for Japan itself.

Modern Englishwoman, Bebe Bell, is working in Japan. Time-travel mixes her mind with male samurai, Kai Matsuda. Soon, she is living a double life - her own in modern Japan - and the other living as Kai, fighting in the civil war of the 1860's which changed Japan and consequently, the world.

Yoshi is a young woman forced to disguise herself as a samurai in order to survive. Living as a man gives her influence and respect, things she has never experienced as a woman of her time. She becomes intoxicated with the power of it - which takes her life down undreamed of paths.

Circumstances bring her into the world of Kai and the attraction between them is immediate, but they are fighting on opposing sides and Yoshi can never disclose her true sex to anyone, especially Kai: but he has Bebe in his mind and events take unexpected turns.

In her own life, Bebe falls in love with Kenji Yoshida, a man who hides his true self under a cloak of conventionality and is afraid to find joy in his life. He has a secret that is destroying him and he cannot allow himself to love Bebe.

When these four people's lives intermingle, it changes their perceptions, reality and ambitions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 13mm | 245g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0956967922
  • 9780956967923
  • 2,765,914

Review quote

I like the light touch of this author and the splashes of humour throughout the trilogy. The story sucked me in without effort. The characters are well rounded, believable, and develop and change with events. It's an intriguing theme of old and new Japan where time and genders cross. I loved the history of old Japan as it is dragged into the modern world of the 1860's - a fascinating time - and how we can see both modern and old Japan and compare the two. It's a fun story. A well written trilogy where, in my opinion, each successive book is better than the last - a good read. J. Coombes An Amazon Reviewer A good read that flips between ancient and modern Japan - this is a time travelling romance with unusual elements that surprise the reader. The narrative is split between the points of view of a modern day English woman living in Japan and Samurai of ancient Japan. There is intrigue, excitement, a lusty dose of fighting and a mystery to be unravelled that will keep you hooked! Jacq Molloy. An Amazon Reviewer I found Secret Samurai an interesting mix. I love Japan and have been there many times and enjoyed this story of old and new Japan and the author's accurate way of describing places. I felt a special fascination with the two heroines, Bebe, and Yoshi, as they "experience life as a man" (and the power that comes with that). I also liked Yoshi's special aura and strength. I also found interesting that the author linked the special nature of the story to Japanese beliefs in reincarnation - in a sense, this cultural context adds a dimension of "spiritual plausibility" to the fantasy plot. I also liked it that the parallel plot is set in the Meiji period, when Japan opened to Western culture when many sort of changes might have been possible. So, a samurai born into a world which is coming to an end seems more likely to be open to influences coming from an unknown (and foreign) future world. I also like the way the narration was not limited to alternate viewpoints of the main characters, Bebe and Kai, the samurai, but also at times (and quite unexpectedly) giving voice to other actors in the story. I found Kai's potentialities of development particularly interesting. I liked (modern woman) Bebe's curiosity for the unknown - intellectual curiosity is her main drive and what brings her to go out of her comfort zone in order to explore different and fascinating potentialities of herself as a human being. I was very glad to discover this trilogy. I was attracted to the setting and the characters. I enjoyed the adventure. Francesca Puccinelli, Brussels. Amazon Reviewer What a great book, couldn't put it down, I would recommend this to anyone who likes a bit of history, romance and mystery. Linda Thompson, An Amazon reviewer Having enjoyed Jill Rutherford's memoir of time she spent in Japan working as an English teacher, and having also read and enjoy some of her short stories, I was interested to find out how her first novel would turn out. What I particularly liked about this novel was the insight it gave into the minds and culture of the Japanese, and also provided some interesting background about Japanese history. I also liked the way the story was told from different characters' viewpoints, clearly signposted so we knew whose perspective each chapter would provide. There was also a steady build-up of intrigue and tension, and I really did care about what happened to the characters. I enjoyed it, and recommend it particularly for anyone who likes books about Japanese life, culture and history, so different from ours, written from a British perspective. Debbie Young, An Amazon Reviewer
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2)
4 33% (2)
3 0% (0)
2 17% (1)
1 17% (1)
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