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Sword of Honor
Cover of Sword of Honor
Sword of Honor
IN THE EPIC HISTORICAL NOVEL SWORD OF HONOR, DAVID KIRK CONTINUES THE SAGA OF MUSASHI MIYAMOTO, THE GREATEST SWORDSMAN IN JAPANESE HISTORY, AS HE JOURNEYS TO THE ANCIENT CITY OF KYOTO TO FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE AND HIS IDEALS.
Having survived the cataclysmic battle of Sekigahara, which established the mighty Tokugawa Shogunate, young Musashi Miyamoto travels through Japan determined to proclaim his revolutionary epiphany that the "way of the samurai," the ancient code that binds warriors to their masters, needs to be abolished.
But during the battle Musashi insulted an adept of the powerful Yoshioka school, and a price has been put on his head. Musashi is drawn to Kyoto, domain of the Yoshioka, driven by anger and certain that he will deal a crushing blow to the traditional samurai dogma by destroying the school. Musashi will learn, however, that the capital of the nation is rife with intrigue and potential rebellion against the newly established government, a struggle into which he unwittingly enters.
Among other outcasts, Musashi will find the worth of his spectacular skill with the sword weighed against the deep cunning of manipulative Lords, and must make his reckoning with the Yoshioka, the way of the samurai, and ultimately his own nature. Only then will he be able to take one step closer to becoming the wise old sage who wrote The Book of Five Rings.
Sword of Honor seamlessly blends meticulous research, mesmerizing action sequences, and a driving narrative to bring this extraordinary figure to life.
From the Hardcover edition.
IN THE EPIC HISTORICAL NOVEL SWORD OF HONOR, DAVID KIRK CONTINUES THE SAGA OF MUSASHI MIYAMOTO, THE GREATEST SWORDSMAN IN JAPANESE HISTORY, AS HE JOURNEYS TO THE ANCIENT CITY OF KYOTO TO FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE AND HIS IDEALS.
Having survived the cataclysmic battle of Sekigahara, which established the mighty Tokugawa Shogunate, young Musashi Miyamoto travels through Japan determined to proclaim his revolutionary epiphany that the "way of the samurai," the ancient code that binds warriors to their masters, needs to be abolished.
But during the battle Musashi insulted an adept of the powerful Yoshioka school, and a price has been put on his head. Musashi is drawn to Kyoto, domain of the Yoshioka, driven by anger and certain that he will deal a crushing blow to the traditional samurai dogma by destroying the school. Musashi will learn, however, that the capital of the nation is rife with intrigue and potential rebellion against the newly established government, a struggle into which he unwittingly enters.
Among other outcasts, Musashi will find the worth of his spectacular skill with the sword weighed against the deep cunning of manipulative Lords, and must make his reckoning with the Yoshioka, the way of the samurai, and ultimately his own nature. Only then will he be able to take one step closer to becoming the wise old sage who wrote The Book of Five Rings.
Sword of Honor seamlessly blends meticulous research, mesmerizing action sequences, and a driving narrative to bring this extraordinary figure to life.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the cover Chapter One

    Hear it! Proclaim it!

    The sundered realm is made anew, the shattered gem whole once more! Upon the dales of Sekigahara east of the Great Lake Biwa a tower of thirty thousand heads stands in testament!

    The Armies of the East are triumphant! Proclaim it!

    Take it to the ashen slopes of the sleeping volcanoes spread beneath the amber sunsets of Kyushu, call it to the birds there as they flock south so they too may bear it forth across the waves! Carry it northward, to the very tips of frigid Michinoku and the shores of alien Yezo, scream it so that the bearded Ainu hear it clustered in their frozen holes!

    All of Japan! Hear it!

    Oh, the very land beneath our feet hums that we should live in such a time! A Shogunate dawns once more, the progenitor of order, the bestower of benevolent peace, the way of things restored to how they ought to be! Serenity in the heavens, joy upon the earth!

    Hail his militant grace the most noble Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa! Hail his imperial and undying majesty the Son of Heaven!

    Swords at his sides, armor heavy upon him, onward Bennosuke Shinmen walked in solitude. He had left battle behind him, left all behind him.

    A glancing blow from an unseen weapon had split his scalp, and the clotted wound now throbbed in time with the beat of his heart. The white of his left eye had turned crimson. The flesh upon his legs was scraped raw by the pinching of his greaves, knees and ankles calcified as he clambered over bush and trunk and waded through scrubland.

    But he was alive. That alone was important, he knew now. He smiled as he suffered. Sekigahara, his enlightenment.

    What things he had endured that day. Rout and defeat and the slaughter of those men whom he had called comrade for two years. The army he fought for was vanquished, the powers that army served laid low. But it was not a defeat for him—not for him, himself. He had fled the battle, and yet no words like coward nor any sense of shame at all occurred to him because he knew that he had not left in base terror but rather because his eyes had finally been opened.

    He had seen hundreds of samurai killed, thousands, and in their bleak end spread before him he had realized the futility of servitude to callous Lords who sought nothing more than selfish power. Thousands of men bringing their own meaningless deaths down upon themselves through the act of choosing to follow these Lords, choosing to obey them, and even more than that thinking such things glorious and proper. This, the Way of the samurai.

    Not for him—no longer.

    This Bennosuke had sworn to himself in the midst of the carnage, and he swore it to himself again now a thousand times over; all Lords, all thought of service or deference to them, he had left behind him to die alongside all those who thought such things righteous. The revelation was profound.

    He walked through wilderness headed for nowhere, but such was his rapture that he did not care. He was choosing to go—he alone. Bennosuke hauled himself up slopes, pulling at roots and creeping vines where he could. The gold leaves of autumn sighed deep around his feet. Hours passed. Gradually the pain from the wound on his head grew worse. His vision began to blur and eventually he vomited.

    Clouds were gathering above, threatening a great rain. He looked up at them in the dimming light, but they did not seem to him foreboding. They were there, as he was here; neither had any right over the other.

    With no energy to go farther, he simply sat and watched as they darkened and burst, and as he felt the drops fall upon his brow he did not run for shelter. The...
About the Author-
  • DAVID KIRK is the author of Child of Vengeance. He grew up in Stamford, Lincolnshire, in the UK. He has lived in Sendai, Japan, since 2008. Visit him at http://www.davidkirkfiction.com.
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