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Tomoe Gozen (Tomoe Gozen #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In a dimension next to ours, there is a world very much like Earth...

In that world there is an island empire called Naipon, where the gods and demons known only as legends in our Japan roam freely over the land, bringing good an evil to its people as they choose. There are mighty warriors, samurai, in Naipon as in Japan, and added to their skill with the two swords of a sa...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published March 1st 1984 by Ace (first published 1981)
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Bridge of Birds by Barry HughartThe Tales of the Otori Trilogy by Lian HearnThe Twelve Kingdoms by Fuyumi OnoEon by Alison GoodmanThe Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Chinese and Japanese Fantasy
40th out of 150 books — 246 voters
The Windup Girl by Paolo BacigalupiThrone of the Crescent Moon by Saladin AhmedThe Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry HughartThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. JemisinHunter's Run by George R.R. Martin
Non-Western Speculative Fiction
19th out of 74 books — 32 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
A totally enthralling tale of adventure, terror and personal transformation in a land called Naipon in a world where magic is real and the gods may touch mortal lives at any moment. Salmondson takes the bare facts we know about the real Tomoe Gozen, a 13-century female samurai, and weaves the most captivating fantasy adventure I've read in a while. I was sorry when the book got over and will move heaven and earth (and PayPal) to acquire the remaining volumes of the Tomoe Gozen saga.

For me, this...more
David
This is one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time. This is basically the story of the 12th century civil war in Japan that established the samurai class, and it's historically accurate except that it's set in an alternate-earth version of Japan where magic and magical beings are real. Thus, Japanese history and myth are combined in an exciting, epic tale.

Tomoe Gozen was an actual historical figure, though of course Salmonson has created a completely fictional version based on what little is...more
Jennifer
I was surprised at the historical accuracy lurking in the mythological setting of Tomoe Gozen. While the work itself is fictitious, an actual Tomoe Gozen was an onna-bugeisha (female warrior) in the 12 century. This strong female lead is a surprisingly dynamic character and the plot never thins or wavers too long on one grand mission, but powers quickly onward to the next. It is exciting, emotional, compelling, and often pleasantly surprising and will surely please the reader.
James Debruicker
Doubly rare, a female pulp fantasy author with a female protagonist. Salmonson manages to capture the whole "something is beautiful because it's going to die alone" thing.
Kaila
I am so happy I discovered the list of Non-European Fantasy by Women and made it a goal to read as many on the list as possible (hence the shelf name). So far it has been full of absolute gems, and this book is no exception.

The first 50 pages read like a level in Dynasty Warriors. I was so pumped up and wanted Tomoe Gozen to keep on fighting. It was rad. Of course, like all good samurai stories, it is not the fighting that is the center point, but some point of revenge or honor. It was kind of a...more
Ann Guillory
Anyone interested in Japanese history or mythology should read this book. It has an epic feel to it, and is the sort of book you want to read all at once to find out what happens, and slowly, so you can savour the scope of the author's vision. The world Salmonson invents is rich, with the epic quality usually associated with ancient sagas or folklore.
Scarlett Fu
In the land of the Magic Nation, from mortals to immortals, samurai and yokai, Tomoe Gozen is a novel which encapsulates both fact and fiction to create a gripping read.

Salmonson's writing rings true to the culture of ancient Japan, and bringing the culture to a more personal level. The story revolves around the onna bugeisha Tomoe Gozen, a prominent female samurai during 12th-century Japan, breaking bushido, and her journey to regaining her name as a favoured hero. Not to mention, it was writt...more
Fugen
Exciting book with lovely illustrations. But alas I am biased for I know the illustrator, Wendy Wees, and am a huge fan of her work.
Sheila
This was one of my all-time favorite fantasy books- not because it's a strong female protagonist in a really fascinating and well-researched world that's very different from the generic "medieval" fantasy worlds- -although all that's a huge bonus.
Mostly I enjoyed the story line about treachery, love, duty and friendship, coming to terms with a broken future as Tomoe Gozen wanders through magical Japan, meeting and offering glimpses into the lives of samurai, peasants, river monsters and minor d...more
Mark Kreider
Fantasy in mythical Japan. Despite some flaws in pacing, including one early on that made me almost give up on the book unfinished, Tomoe Gozen and two volumes following it in the trilogy, The Golden Naginata and Thousand Shrine Warrior, are among my favorite fantasy novels, written in a unique voice that captures the flavor of the fictional world vividly. Samauri, ninja, blood, swords, more blood, crazy monsters, romance, duels of honor, more blood.
Alma
Tomoe is a samurai who slices first and asks questions later. "Gotta" love a woman with a temperament! Immerse yourself in a foreign,exotic and strange locale where you'll run into the familiar concepts of honor and what it means to stand for an ideal. Sequels: THE GOLDEN NAGINATA & A THOUSAND SHRINE WARRIOR
Kanawinkie
Jul 27, 2007 Kanawinkie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in epic high fantasy
Shelves: worth-owning
Written in a fantasy historic Japan, Tomoe Gozen is one of my favorite fantasy reads.

Jessica Salmonson does a very good job blending real historic Japan with the stuff of legends where demons and magic are real to tell an elaborate story about a very strong, intelligent female samurai.

Keith Slade
Good samurai / fantasy story.
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Actual Person in History 1 1 Jul 02, 2010 06:29AM  
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