Review Blog

Nov 30 2011

The ring of fire by Chris Bradford

cover image

Young Samurai series. Puffin, 2011. ISBN 978 0 141 33255 0.
(Ages 11+) Recommended. Chris Bradford's sixth in his Young Samurai series sees Jack involved in another life and death struggle. Whilst fleeing the Shogun's forces he battles against a harsh Japanese winter. To survive he accepts a job to protect a poor village from the ravages of a cruel, bloodthirsty bandit called Akuma. It's not until he reaches the village that he finds just how poor it is and how powerful Akuma and his band are. He is able to recruit help in the form of some old friends. However the odds are still stacked heavily against them.
They have to not only turn the village into a defensible fortress, but also turn the villagers into a reliable military unit. No easy job especially as in Japan it was an offence for peasants to be armed. The fact that Jack is a gaijin (an outsider) who poses as a Samurai is also a problem, not only culturally, but the Shogun has also offered a reward for him, which would be very tempting for poor villagers for Jack's capture.
Bradford keeps the action moving and the reader's interest involved with exciting battles and fights. I'm sure those who've read the other books in the series will enjoy this one and be eager for the next installment. 320p looks a lot, but the print is large and well spaced, the chapters short and the end of the book gives details of the characters's names and a glossary as well as the opening chapters for the next installment, just in case you needed any enticement.
Mark Knight

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates