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Daughter of the Sword (Fated Blades #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,169 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews

As the only female detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit, Mariko Oshiro has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. But when he gives her the least promising case possible—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—it proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.

The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yam
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Roc (first published January 10th 2012)
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Jul 25, 2013 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for something different in UF
Recommended to Carol. by: Fantasy Aficionados BOM


I am somewhat at a loss for words to explain why, exactly, Daughter of the Sword was an emotional miss.

The story begins with a look inside Fuchida's head as he heads out to kill someone. Fuchida is an ambitious member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia, and has an unnatural affection for his sword. We're next dropped into a scene of a group of Tokyo's cops on a drug bust, led by Mariko, the only female detective in the unit. Raised in America, Mariko is doubly an outsider in the department, and a
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I don't use the term brilliant much when I'm writing reviews. But this is the term that just keeps coming to mind about this book. I knew I'd appreciate it, because I have an appreciation for Asian culture and people, and swordsmanship; and honestly, something about a book with a woman holding a sword on the cover just pulls me in.

This book speaks to me of a writer who loves Japan, both modern and ancient. Someone who has taken the time to investigate and learn the culture, even to the deepest l
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Mariko Oshiro is the only female detective in the Tokyo police force something that disgusts her new Lieutenant, but she is determined to prove herself she knows she is as good, better really, then the other cops on the department. She certainly doesn't deserve to be taken off a big case involving a possible cocaine shipment and given a rubbish dead end one in its stead. But she gets stuck with a case involving the theft of a supposedly magicical sword and with its unusual owner the mysterious a ...more
OMG this was drop dead dynamite awesomely GOOD and I sincerely hope this is a series (oh wait, it is) because it just can't end this way. Best of all, no stupid romance in which the heroine is kick-ass until the first whiff of testosterone. In fact, there's no romance at all (yay). Myth, history, gritty police procedural all wrapped up in the culture and mores of modern Japan. It was like being there. I love books that feel like armchair travel. And cursed magical SWORDS!

Mariko Oshiro is the Ja
Jul 10, 2014 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a different style of UF
Recommended to Carly by: Fantasy Aficianados BOM
**edited 11/28/13

Daughter of the Sword is not your standard urban fantasy. It is free from snarky, trenchcoat-wearing protagonists, twisted fairy tales, and supernaturally steamy love triangles. There are no vampires. There are no werewolves. In fact, supernatural creatures of all varieties are entirely absent. There's not even all that much magic. Instead, Daughter of the Sword is the story of a modern-day Tokyo policewoman dealing with modern-day crime in the modern-day world when suddenly con
Originally reviewed on Kirkus' SF/F Blog:

The sword in Fuchida Shuzo's bed was the oldest known of her kind, and he loved listening to her song.

Mariko Oshiro is the only female detective in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD), and also the only woman working the highly competitive narcotics division. Being the only woman in the job – and a senior Sergeant Detective, at that – comes with its healthy dose of crap, as Mariko finds herself embroile
Steve Bein's "Daughter of the Sword" is an excellent read. A book that defies easy description because it combines a present day cop story with various historical vignettes that revolve around the ill fortunes of the bearers of a legendary magical sword nicknamed the “Beautiful Singer” made by the renowned samurai swordsmith Inazuma. The sword hungers for death and is said to be cursed. Not all who wield it end up dead, but most end up appeasing the sword's hunger in foul ways.

Mariko Oshiro is a
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy See site review for similar titles

Pitch me an urban fantasy with a killer cover by Chris McGrath, set in both modern and Feudal Japan, involving magical swords and drug trafficking, and that’s a book that’s going to grab my attention big time. The problem with DAUGHTER OF THE SWORD by Steve Bein, is that that’s not exactly what you get. The writing is lush and evocative, and the characters are broken and heroic in turn, but despite the publisher catego
An undiscovered gem, blending a crime mystery with historical fiction, with some fantasy elements. Mariko is a female detective on the elite Tokyo Metro Police Department, has spent her formative years in the U.S., and has a meth addict sister. Her boss wants her out of Narcotics, and assigns her to look into an attempted robbery of a blind man, instead of pursuing a hot lead regarding a rogue yakuza trying to import cocaine in contravention of their bushido code. Mariko is a modern woman, but b ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
...I'm disappointed. I'm still trying to figure out WHY, exactly. The writing is decent. The first chapter is about a psycho a sword fetish (pretty sure I'm using that term correctly, as that he is sleeping with the sword and comparing it to a beautiful woman -- albeit a deadly one with possibly murderous intent) (yes he thinks the sword has Intents right off the bat), which weirded me out, BUT it contributes to the plot, because it introduces the sword, which does have Intents. Maybe it's beca ...more
First, there's a glossary in the back, you don't have to look everything up on the Internet! If you're just glancing down reviews, that's the most useful thing I can tell you. It really should be in the front, I didn't discover it was there until I was peeking at the end to see if one of the characters survived when I was two-thirds of the way through the book or more and had already looked up at least a dozen words.

And on to more traditional review-like stuff.This book was really terrific. The
*Genre* Fantasy, Historical, Magical Swords
*Rating* 3.5 stars


Daughter of the Sword is the story about Sergeant Detective Mariko Oshiro as the only female cop in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. It’s a story about her daily struggles for respect among a department filled with men who believe that women have no place in the work place. It’s also a story steeped in history and destiny.

Mariko is an interesting character who I believe readers will respect and come to appreciate; esp
May 04, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend, who knew I'd just returned from a trip to Japan, recommended this book to me. I wasn't sure it would be 'my cup of tea' but figured I'd give it a go. I couldn't put it down! I loved how the history entwined with the modern day, making a well rounded, exciting read even more interesting. Can't wait to read more in this series.
Feb 20, 2015 Elspeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, kindle
On sale today, 2.11.15, on Amazon for $1.99.
Oct 17, 2012 LadyTechie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daughter of the Sword is this conglomeration of historical Japanese lore, true Japanese history and urban fantasy. I received a copy with a really great cover from Literal Addiction which received the copy from the publisher for review purposes. I have to admit this was already on my to-be-read list already so when I had the opportunity to review it for L.A. I jumped at it and though there were times I was lost in the Japanese terminology, I enjoyed learning them. Steve Bein did such a good job ...more
Feb 11, 2014 Kara-karina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
It's not often I have such mixed feelings about a book, peeps. It's also very rare that I would give such book high rating, but I had to with this one.

Daughter of The Sword is a mixed genre book - partly urban fantasy, partly historical fiction and a mystery all the way. It takes time to get into it because it's pretty damn slow, but if you persevere it's full of rich cultural details on different historical eras of Japan down to modern time.

It's no secret I collect and treasure paranormal ficti
Nov 05, 2012 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, uf, law-enforcement
I was surprised by how much I liked this one. It was a slower read for me than normal, I think because I had to keep going back to the glossary in back to read what the Japanese words meant and to understand what all was going on.

At first glance there are parts of the story that don't really make sense. We have the story in the present, police detective, people dying, drugs, and the yakuza. This part of the story seems pretty straight forward, about what you expect when those combo of things ar
Rory O'Connor
Feb 03, 2013 Rory O'Connor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to review. The synopsis above doesn’t really do justice to how epic in scope this novel is. Daughter of the Sword weaves past and present together, following the story of the swords through time. The vignettes into the past were especially well-researched and fascinating.

Mariko is trying to prove herself worthy of her spot on one of Tokyo’s most elite police forces. She is as good, if not better, than most of her coworkers. However, this doesn’t stop her boss from removing he
Enjoyed this book. Loved the mix of urban police drama, Japanese history and fantasy. Good story and interesting characters. Writing very good overall. The historical passages are especially good. My only criticism of this book: When Mr. Bein writes in the first person as Mariko, he tends to get long winded at times. In several places he spends paragraphs relating Mariko's thoughts, which are either already obvious to the reader having already been foreshadowed in detail earlier in the story or ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Leslie by: Natasha Dawkins
I finished reading Daughter of the Sword yesterday...thank you, Natasha Dawkins, for recommending it.

I've read a number of novels revolving around Japan written by non-Japanese, and many of them don't quite grasp the real Japan. This one is different, though. The author Steve Bein has obviously spent many years here and not only knows the country and the history, but the spirit. I admit there were a few discrepancies here and there, but very few!

If you have any interest in either the history o
Nov 05, 2015 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, kindle
11 February 2015: $1.99 on Kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reviewed for Book Chick City

I love all things Japanese, so when I started DAUGHTER OF THE SWORD by Steve Bein, I was expecting to love this book. It is set for the most part in Tokyo, but also delves into Japan’s ancient past, detailing the honour codes held by samurais.

The book begins in the modern Heisei era, in the year 2010, with the villain, Fuchida Shūzō, and a description of his attachment to his ancient sword, Beautiful Singer. He goes so far as t
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 15, 2013 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
I enjoyed this book, though I struggle to categorize it at all. The main story is a suspense novel with a heavy police procedural overlay. But then there's an infusion of mystical spiritualism that permeates the book to its core that tempts me to tag it as urban fantasy. But it isn't that, either, because the fantastical elements are buried deep and manifest only in broad strokes that would be sloppy writing if the author hadn't done such a good job of hanging bells on them and displaying their ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never gotten into urban fantasy. Fantasy without the fun of a whole new fantasy world to me seems kind of like getting out the ingredients to bake a cake, but stopping to eat a handful of plain flour without mixing the ingredients or making the cake. Why start with the ingredient of a bit of magic without the going all the way to the finished product of a new world for the magic to live in? I've also never been a huge fan of samurai stories, martial arts, or detective stories. I'm not hugel ...more
Sep 03, 2015 Adan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Akira Kurosawa meets "The Red Violin".

In modern day Tokyo, Detective Sergeant Oshiro Mariko is given the near meaningless case of an attempted sword theft after a drug bust gone bad. After meeting the sword's mysterious owner however, Oshiro finds herself in a race against evil to find not one but two of the most famous (and cursed) swords in Japanese history.

This book has a special place in my heart because it's a believable modern day fantasy. The main story of Detective Oshiro is broken up wi
Иван Величков
Изненадващо добра книга.
Вървят две сюжетни линии. Първата е за еманципираната токийска полицайка Оширо, която се стреми да стане първата жена детектив в отдел наркотици. Незначителен случай я запознава с пенсиониран историк и майстор на меча, който решава да я обучава на кенджуцо и я въвлича по следите на три легендарни меча. Междувремено един психопат се опитва да вкара кокаин на японския пазар, зад гърба на Якудза.
Втората линия е за самите оръжия, прокълнати или благословени и тяхната поява пр
This was an interesting book about three samurai swords made by the same master swordscrafter, that all come together in modern day. The historical flashbacks covered how the people who held them were influenced (or not) by the swords, and the modern story was made richer for that insight. Some of the flashbacks covered World War II, and offered a fascinating fantastical version of the events.

My problem with the book was that I really didn't have much in common with or sympathy for the main mode
Христо Блажев
Три древни меча направляват съдбата:

Стив Байн добре си е изпипал нещата – движи действието почти поравно между събития в наши дни, в които полицайката Марико Оширо трябва да се бори със сексисткия си шеф и зависимата си от наркотици сестра, и серия епични истории, свързани с три древни вълшебни меча (в по-късни времена наричани катани), всеки от които влияе на ума и съдбата на притежателя си. Съвременната линия проследява сложните отношения между властта
Beth Cato
Mar 27, 2015 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban, fantasy, japanese, 2015
Man, this was a refreshing change for urban fantasy. A novel completely set in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan, drenched in the culture, and one that doesn't seek for any romantic element. Mariko is a strong lead trying to earn respect as the only woman detective on Tokyo's force. Having a female lead in urban fantasy fight combat sexism isn't new, but the element of conservative Japanese culture adds a new twist.

However, my favorite parts of the book actually didn't feature Mariko. The book jumps
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Recommended Contemporary Fantasy Set in Japan 1 20 Aug 25, 2013 11:08PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Fated Blades (3 books)
  • Year of the Demon (Fated Blades, #2)
  • Disciple of the Wind (Fated Blades, #3)

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