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Child of Vengeance
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Child of Vengeance

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  441 ratings  ·  100 reviews
A bold and vivid historical epic of feudal Japan, based on the real-life exploits of the legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto.

Japan in the late 16th century was a land in turmoil. Lords of the great clans schemed against each other, served by aristocratic samurai bound to them by a rigid code of honor. Bennosuke is a high-born but lonely teenager living in his ancestral vill
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Hardcover, 322 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Doubleday (first published 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,714)
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Andy
4.5 Brilliantly written, a real grower on you, look forward to more from this author.

Those with a touch of red-eye & the bloodlust this (mostly) wont be for you..... the thinkers, thought provoked & culture vultures step right-up as you'll love this beautifully written & crafted tale of a Samurai at his transition to manhood. Ok Feudal Japan means coming of age at about 13 but in NO WAY did I find this a rights of passage or YA read, as the early story revolved around the adults in
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Dawn
I may be getting tired of reading about young men's coming of age stories. I found myself thinking that I really didn't care about this or that tragedy, which were probably defining moments in his young life.....I just wanted to get to the man's story, not the boy's. But this book doesn't have that part of the story.
The author does do a pretty good job of the Japanese setting and some of the characters are quite good. It was an easy and fast read but not a book I liked.
John Kibler
I just got tired of all the exposition. Gave up about page 175.
Veronica
Child of Vengeance is about Bennosuke, the son of the great samurai Munisai, and his coming of age.

I've never read a samurai story before or anything on Japanese history. However I have always liked stories about WW1 and WW2 so I thought I would give this novel a try.
The main characters were well developed and it was easy to connect with them.
Bennosuke being shy and withdrawn having lived alone with his uncle the priest and thinking that the villagers shunned him because of his rash.
Dorinbo the
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Michael
Historical fiction set in feudal Japan in the late 1500's, early 1600's. This is the story of a real man, Miyamoto Musashi. Wow. Japan at this time was a ridiculously bad hang for anyone that wasn't a samurai (noble), and pretty bad for most of THEM that weren't on the very top of the heap. All large societies I know of have gone through a feudal stage, and it was always rough for 99% of the folks there. But Japan took it to another level.

Can you imagine if your boss at work could say, at any t
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Paul
Scholar. Warrior. Samurai. His name was Bennosuke, son of the great Munisai Shinmen, known throughout the empire as one of the greatest warriors who ever lived. His destiny was to become a great warrior like his father – a Samurai, one of the most feared and respected in the world. But before fame comes action, and Bennosuke must prove himself on the battlefield before he can claim his inheritance. And in his way stands the vengeful Kensaku, son of Lord Nakata, the face of the enemy, a man who i ...more
David Teachout
At once a coming of age story as it is a cultural analysis and exposition, this story of how Miyamoto Musashi came to be known as such is simply wonderful. The pacing is consistent, the dialogue intelligent and true to character, and the setting shows both a knowledge of and a love for the history of Japan. The psychology of the characters helps illuminate what Westerners so often think they get but don't: the martial philosophy of the samurai. There is no hiding from the brutality or how the de ...more
Wellington

ARE YOU SAMURAI? A lot of this book made me say WOW. Lots of other parts made me ask HUH?

This is a book on the fictionalized author of "The Book of Five Rings" (which is a five star book). Not a lot is known about Miyamoto Musashi and the facts can be more stories than fact. There's lots of conflicting information. Also there is more than enough riches to sculpt a story of a legendary samurai.

Some of the book was brilliant giving a window into the world of the samurai, a world of uncompromising
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Davytron
I thought this was a really fun fictionalized coming of age story of the famous samurai Musashi Miyamoto. I normally dislike novels that lack female characters (this one definitely fails the Bechdel test) but I found the Samurai to be complex and interesting enough characters to distract me from my feminist scorn. It was nice to experience the internal struggle of samurai with all the conflicting emotions, regret, and motivations that came with the role.

I also enjoyed that this novel educated t
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Bryan
A great deal of the early childhood of Miyamoto Musashi is uncertain and varied. Aptly titled, the book zeroes in on the defining aspects: Musashi -- along with his exceptionally eccentric approach to the structured and traditional ways of the samurai -- was born in solitude and, following his father's death, became a child of vengeance.

David Kirk seems to cull the most appealing moments of the scattered accounts of Musashi's childhood and assemble them in an eloquent way. He also fills in the u
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Teracia
not the book i thought it would be. I will be passing on this book to a history buff. reads like a text book.
Amanda
Having been rather obsessed with Japanese short stories throughout the course of my ungrad college career, I eagerly snapped up "Child of Vengeance" by David Kirk. While I was not disappointed, I did feel like the author never fully delved behind the psychology of the samurai. Yes, the samurai glorified death, but the reasoning behind *why* was never fully fleshed out, at least until where I could understand where Bennosuke and his fellow samurai were coming from. The story is extremely interest ...more
Mary
What the cover and the premise promised-a boy whose life had dissolved into a lie then went BESERK on his enemies (haha get the reference?) was not what I got.
Instead, I got a story that dragged out to explain things about the time of the samurai. Now I will say that if you are a fan of Japanese culture, then by all means check this out. I am both a fan of the culture and an avid reader who expected the book to deliver in its promise.

Benosuke, our hero, was refreshingly flawed and human. He meas
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David
If I'm honest, this is a book I knew nothing about and wasn't even looking out, first catching my attention when I saw it in a local Tesco's with a sticker on the front saying 'pick of CBS action channel' (which is a freesat channel, which I don't have)!

Had a look at the blurb, though, and thought I might take a punt on it due to its unusual - for a Western audience - setting of Japan, centring round the samurai. About the only other book(s) with the same setting I have ever read were Cloud of S
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Paul Bartusiak
David Kirk’s new novel, “Child of Vengeance,” achieves the rare feat of capturing the reader’s attention from the first page and holding it until the very end. Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan (circa 1600s), the legendary code of the samurai is in full force in both intimate settings as well as in the context of epic scenes. The beauty of the story, though, and what makes it so engaging, is the personal tale of a young boy named Bennosuke as he develops into early manhood and struggles w ...more
Forgotten Realms Queen
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Sebastian
"what kind of person couldn't attack the man who killed his mother?"

I am a fan of historical fiction, especially if it has to do with samurai, so when I saw this book I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it, and luckily for me I was not disappointed. David Kirk takes us on a fictional tour of the childhood and adolescence of the famous Musahi Miyamoto. Allow me to say that I was not familiar with Miyamoto's life, I just knew the name, but not much else, so it is impossible for me to judge how
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Beth
What would you do if you had to choose between life and death? Life means following the path of Amaterasu as a priest, death means becoming a samurai to spite the father who abandoned you. Life means helping others - death means killing them. It's a hard choice to make, made harder by the parallel decision to listen to the uncle who has raised you, or the father who requires vengeance.

This is the decision facing Musashi Miyamoto in Child of Vengeance. Based on the sketchy past of the real Musash
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Susan Johnson
I am not a big Japanese history reader but when I heard it compared to "Shogun" I just had to give it a try. Personally the only likeness I saw to "Shogun" was that they were both set in Japan. Musashi Miyamamoto was raised in a household of samauri that went went back centuries. From the beginning he was raised as samauri. "Shogun" was like a fish out of water story.
Anyway, Musashi was raised by two uncles- one a monk and one a samauri instructor. His father was off on his duties and his mother
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Carley
I won this as a goodreads first reads novel.

An amazing story of survival, coming of age and the struggle to find our destiny and becoming who we are truly meant to be. I loved following Bennosuke as he discovered life's truths and struggled with those revelations. The inner conflicts he faces while trying to determine who he wants to become made me really think about the choices I have made in my life. Then ultimately the realization he has about the life of a samurai and life in generally was
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H.J. Stephens
I am a great fan of anything to do with feudal Japan, I read any book I can find on the theme. As a result I began this book with a decent background in the genre and also, I admit, a little bit of bias. I mean, the book has Samurai! What more could you ask for?
Child of Vengeance follows the journey of a boy named Bennosuke as he tries to find a place in the world. To be honest it follows the same plotline of many Japanese-themed novels. That is, the protagonist begins in a low rank position (s
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Kacey
This is an ARC I received, so I will try to keep my comments vague.

I absolutely cannot be objective as I review this book. I love feudal Japan and I love reading about history, so a historical novel set in feudal Japan is sure to win me over. This book was beautifully written with a very fascinating central character: the legendary Musashi Miyamoto. Admittedly I know very little about the legends surrounding him, but if this novel accomplished nothing else it inspired me to do my own investigati
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jordan
Historical fiction often falls into two categories: those where the author worries over every detail of what can be known and those who want to tell a good story. With the former, they often grow flummoxed by gaps in the historical record and worry over the "fictional" side of historical fiction.

To his credit, David Kirk falls solidly into the second group. The historical record for the life of the great samurai Musashi contains perhaps more gaps than facts, and so this author worries almost ent
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Gord Rollason
Without measuring this novel for historical accuracy, it has a ring of authenticity to it. Looking at the human side of samurai is kind of like looking at the humanity of vampires. It has to be fiction because historically speaking, what we know of them is that they were killers. Taking that into account this author does an excellent job of it while including lots of blow by blow duels and battle depictions to make any sword buff happy.
There are detailed accounts of two Seppuku, one by a nine ye
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David Stringer
Having to add this to my 'did not finish' shelf unfortunately.

I bought this book on a whim, passing through a supermarket, I'd never heard of the book but quite fancied an historical book about Japan. A time I think and find quite interesting.

But I soon lost interest in the story/book and in the end gave up. I got the strong feeling I knew exactly how the book was going to pan out. With lonely, almost abandoned son clearly about to be trained up to be a samurai by his recently returned father.
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Anna
A fairly easy-paced story exploring and questioning what it meant to be samurai in the late 1500s/early 1600s, culminating in the large Battle of Sekigahara that marked the start of the Tokugawa shogunate. Follows a boy whose samurai father left him after the mother's death, leaving him to be raised by two uncles, one a wise monk and one a bluff warrior, while the father serves his liege-lord. After 8 years of war, having earned the esteem of his liege but the enmity of a spiteful young allied l ...more
Nenia Campbell
There are many reasons I dislike a book: extremely annoying characters, contrived plot and characterization, negative sexual/racial stereotypes, very badly written prose, etc. Sometimes, though, to quote Freud, a cigar is just a cigar- and a one-star book is just... not liked. This doesn't mean that the book is bad, per se: just that the book was a bad fit for me.

Child of Vengeance is very well written and appears to be meticulously researched, and despite wanting to like it- it's about freaking
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Paul J. Youngman.
A fictional account of the childhood of the famed swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. A young Musashi is the hero of the story "Child of Vengence" by David Kirk. I found Kirk to have a good understanding of Japanese ways, the story was believable and his characters were well formed. "Child of Vengence" is an easy read, especially if you have any interest in things Japanese. Kirk's imagination runs wild at times, these are the most exciting parts of the story. His lyrical prose paints scenic panoramas of ...more
Sabrina
I received a copy of this book through Good Read first reads giveaways.

This book is definitely not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone that is at all interested in Japan or historical fiction.

I've always been interested in Feudal Japan and samurai but tend to shy away from books about the time period because I always imagine getting lost or bogged down in hard to follow detail. That was certainly not the case for me with this book. It has wonderful detail and is w
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Christian
I have not read a lot of samurai fiction, but I thought this was written with a rather different and interesting approach. With some novels, such as Shogun by Clavell, the samurai is portrayed as a stalwart adherents of the samurai code of bushido. They would connive and thirst for power of course, but the code is generally regarded as an honorable one. In this novel, samurai and their code are portrayed as rather more rigid and cruel. The code was employed more as an instrument of revenge. The ...more
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DAVID KIRK, twenty-seven, became interested in Japanese history when his dad gave him a copy of James Clavell's Shogun. Later he would write his dissertation on samurai cinema. Kirk now lives in Japan, where he works as an English-language teacher.
More about David Kirk...

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“Per otto anni ho vagato,
senza accorgermi dell'avvicendarsi delle stagioni.
Sono solo una foglia che appassisce, secca, muore,
eppure l'albero rimane: modello di vita.”
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“Intorno a lui, le tranquille risaie riflettevano le stelle come lastre di ossidiana, e lui smaniava dalla voglia di sfoderare la spada e squarciarle; tagliare le stelle e tagliare il cielo e l'universo, solo perché sapeva che era in grado di farlo.” 1 likes
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