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The Samurai's Tale

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,083 ratings  ·  85 reviews
When the powerful Lord Takeda’s soldiers sweep across the countryside, killing and plundering, they spare the boy Taro’s life and take him along with them. Taro becomes a servant in the household of the noble Lord Akiyama, where he meets Togan, a cook, who teaches Taro and makes his new life bearable. But when Togan is murdered, Taro’s life takes a new direction: He will b ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 12th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,709)
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Cassie
You know a story is going to be boring when it starts out with "How should I begin my story?" The plot was slow, the characters were difficult to keep straight, and the conflict was unconvincing. Yes, there were a few good parts, but they were few and far between. The one good thing I have to say is the love story was cute. I just found it difficult to get into this book. I only read it because I had to for school.
Deborah
I really enjoyed this book! It was very interesting. I liked how it was easy to read and understand. The book was very well written in many ways. I especially liked the ending. It really suprised me! I also learned many new things from this book. I don't have much to say about this book(since its so good!)... but overall this is one of the BEST books i've ever read.
Macky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bahrulhaq Al-amin
Metamorfosis seorang anak yatim piatu menjadi samurai terhormat. Dengan kerja keras, persahabatan, kehormatan, kesetiaan, cinta dan sedikit keberuntungan, Taro kecil tetap hadir hingga paragraf terakhir dari kisah samurai ini.
Seandainya penulis mau lebih bekerja keras menggambarkan peperangan demi peperangan yang tertuang dalam novel ini, mungkin saya bersedia memberi satu bintang rating lagi. Dan mungkin satu bintang terakhir bila ending lebih dramatis.
Meski demikian, saya sangat menikmati nove
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G.L.Rose
I liked The Samurai's Tale because each chapter left me wanting to read on and find out what happens. The main character is a boy named Taro in medieval Japan. After having being stolen away from his home, he is forced to travel with the warring soldiers across Japan. A nice cook helps him adjust to his new life. Tragedy befalls Taro again and he must make a decision that will alter the rest of his life. I liked the choice he made because I would like to think I would have made the same one.

I w
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Jakob Katchem
In the book " The Samurai's Tale", by Erik Christian Haugaard, The petted son of a noble samurai loses not only his family, but all his status. Rather than being killed with the rest, he unintentionally charms a samurai of the lord who killed his father and family, and is allowed to live - as a servant. Throughout his life, the boy seeks to return to the heights from which he descended. He meets wonderful friends, and learns many hard lessons - always in a state of war, or on the edge of it.

When
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Austin
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Stephen
Oct 08, 2013 Stephen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves reading.
“The Samurai’s Tale” is a story that starts with an ordinary protagonist, taro. After his family is killed, his journey begins, as he becomes a servant for Lord Akiyama. Through this tragic, yet, beautiful tale, Taro learns one of the greatest lessons of all. But, facing such problems he encounters, he meets many new people. On this journey, Taro learns more about himself, and finds the truth behind his past, In this ‘Samurai Tale”.

I really enjoy this book, because of its clever, thought out sto
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Abigail
This was actually a reading assignment for English, I finished it a few weeks before the due date. We started reading JUST after finishing a unit and project on Japan in history, not to mention I've always been fascinated by Japanese culture, so I knew a lot of the things mentioned in the book. However, there were a few things I didn't know (like some of the details on Zen, or the terms for or associated with Seppuku). Culturally, it was spot-on accurate as far as I know.

As for the story, it's a
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Joo Eon P
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mia
Maybe it is a cultural bias (and 100% my fault) but I had a TERRIBLE time keeping all the characters straight. Especially since I am not familiar with all the Japanese honorifics. In some of the most troubling spots, the author added a comment about it - for example, it is considered an honor if someone uses part of their own name or nickname when they give you a name. But because the characters are renamed several times, I kept having to go back an re-read. (each stage of your life, someone giv ...more
Angelina
This book is majorly underrated. I know people read it for school, so it's deemed: boring, but give it a chance! The Samurai's Tale begins slowly, though once the tension has built, it's like it spirals out of control and you lose yourself to the world of 'Taro'. You feel what he feels-love, loyalty, anguish- and see everything through a young samurai's eyes.
4.5 stars- if only because the slow start. Don't put this book down unless you've gotten to page 100 and still think it's boring.
pdarnold
A coming of age story about a boy who begins with rather noble blood only to be brought lower than even a peasant, yet dreams of one day being a worthy samurai in service of his new master. Much intrigue of war and the path to enlightenment. Lessons of humility and patience. Learning to excel and be the best you are capable of being. Learning gratitude and understanding that life is but a breeze that passes quickly. All that and a lot of adventure with a touch of romance too!
Timothyl
I was maybe ten years old when I read this as part of my homeschooling curriculum. I'd grown to like any mystery or drama about set in Japan (to this day, I haven't read one that I didn't at least kind of appreciate), but I wasn't quite prepared for this one. There's so much bloodshed and straight-up grit in this book that my Christian moral feathers were almost ruffled.

Almost.

They weren't because the book is really well done. The characters are fascinating and out of the ordinary. Japanese cul
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Jay Roman
Sep 17, 2007 Jay Roman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Someone who likes samurai?
Shelves: readyo
The Samurai's Tale is a story about a boy named, Taro. He was the son of a samurai, and as we all know he was going to become a samurai as well. That all changed when Takeda Shingen defeated his father, a retainer of Uesugi Kenshin, and Taro was forced to serve his new master, as a lowly servant.

I read this book years ago for required reading. I liked the book, mainly because of the subject matter. The book wasn't written for an adult to read so, I think Haugaard could have written more powerful
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Stephen
I underestimated how dark the book was going to be. It had many events involving murder, suicide, and pondering. The story of Taro's past reminds me of Bruce (Batman) Wayne's past which was very intriguing. With the out of the ordinary approach on the life of a samurai, I enjoyed every page out of the book, 5 stars.
Su
Fantastic YA historical fiction that gives you a de-glamorized but still fascinating/entertaining look at samurai and medieval Japan during the Sengoku (Warring States) Period. I learned a great deal about the culture of the times (everything from how children were not given a real name until they came of age, to the way a young retainer might court a lady-in-waiting who served in his lord's court) and better yet, all the important warlords/major historical figures that any Japanese person would ...more
Jay DeVine
Read this with a group of middle school boys. We all really enjoyed it. It gives a great look at 16th century Japan and the political intrigue of the period. The fact that this is a true story was very appealing. Definitely makes one want to go out and find out more info. Or possibly read the sequel.
Tabi {Sherlockian} Card
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori
Dec 07, 2011 Lori rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle or high school readers interested in feudal Japan
Set in medieval feudal Japan, Haugaard's tale for young adults captivated my 6th grade readers. The author suggests some of the issues that would have plagued the society, dealing a bit with racism, classics, poverty, and social constraints of the time while not glorifying war. My student's and i enjoyed the book because the characters were interesting and the plot moved along at a good pace. Vocabulary fits an advanced middle school reader, but short chapters enable average readers to work thro ...more
Gerald Llorag
even in the midst of war waging, a young samurai never failed to continue living.

The exposition of the story makes the reader informed about the novel's setting. The novel is set in the era of Japanese's dark age; where every feudal lord aspire to have vast land ownership. Surprisingly, the novel is written by a Danish author. For a foreigner, the author of this book is quite accustomed to the heritage of Japanese culture. He even uses Japanese terms and names to relay to the readers the Land of
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Yup
I read this back in elementary school and it made enough of an impression on me. To the point that I still recall a fair portion of the book. So yeah.
Angelapark
It was interesting and it drew my attention right away. It is a very good book. It is about a samurai's son who starts as a lowly person in the palace of a lord to a honered samurai.
Saphirablue
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayatri
This story is written eloquently and much thought has been given to ancient Japan when writing the story.
Justin
The Samurai’s Tale Book Review

The Samurai’s tale by Erik Christian Haugaard is an amazing book that you should read! It is about a young boy who grows up to be a samurai fighting for Lord Akiyama, one of the four rulers of Japan. The plot of the story is that Lord Akiyama wants to be the ruler of Japan and so do all the other lords so they all have a fight. A character I can relate to is Taro because he doesn’t like to hurt people and he is very honest. If you ever want to read a book with actio
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Gavroche
While the writing itself is good, the character-development is not. The main character, whom you are supposed to root for, is a sheer schmuck. He is biggeted, arrogant, and all of the characters are incredibly massaganistic. It gets off to a swimming start, and is hard to put down, but once you pass the tenth page it starts to get dry, and you begin to recoil from the main character, Taro. Overall, the characters were jerky scumbuckets, the love story is hard to feel sympathy for, and the plot i ...more
Whistle77531
it was REALLY good. Couldn't stop reading it
Sonali Patel
I absolutely LOVE this book!! If you have studied the history of Japan, this would be a very interesting book for you to read. It is about a samurai in Japan, who is very poor due to his father's death. Taro, the main character, was never satisfied with who he was, wanted his status as a person to rise. A samurai wins a lot of respect but he has to be ready to give up his life in war. It is interesting to see how Taro deals with the life he is going through. A good theme for this book is Love Co ...more
Jeri Hawkins
I really enjoyed this book.
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What's The Name o...: Novel set in feudal japan [s] 8 54 Aug 15, 2012 09:27AM  
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Erik Haugaard was born in Denmark and has traveled extensively in the United States, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Called "a writer gifted in the art of the storyteller" by the BOSTON GLOBE, he is internationally known for his accomplishments as a playwright, poet, and translator.

Haugaard has written a number of acclaimed works for young adults that transport readers back to a time and place in history
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More about Erik Christian Haugaard...
The Boy and the Samurai The Revenge of the Forty-Seven Samurai The People Who Hugged the Trees Hakon of Rogen's Saga Chase Me, Catch Nobody!

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