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The Swords of Silence

(The Swords of Fire Trilogy #1)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Where once new ideas and beliefs were accepted, now the country’s military dictator, the Shogun, is shutting his country down to any outside influences.

Father Joaquim Martinez, who left Portugal to make Hizen Province, Japan, his home, has been tending quietly to the lives of his villagers, but everything is about to be thrown into turmoil, as the Shogun has outlawed Marti
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Harper Inspire
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Ivana - Diary of Difference
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#1 The Swords of Silence - ★★★

I was born and raised in a country where religion is sacred. I was surrounded with Christianity all my life. However, while I have learned lessons of love, respect and hope, I am not a believer. I do believe that we need to be kind to each other, respect each other and hope for a better tomorrow, but I don't believe there is a God out there who decides our faith. My review is based on how I felt while reading and I be
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
This review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

The Story in The Swords of Silence takes place between May 1626 and July 1626 a decade after Christianity had been outlawed in Japan and focuses on the struggles of a Jesuit priest, Father Joaquim Martinez and the villagers of Arima on the island of Kyushu.

Father Joaquim is the priest of the small village and the villagers are all Christians who keep their faith hidden only praying and worshi
Marta Cox
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a piece of fiction based on real events that happened in seventeenth century Japan. Essentially the author covers a three month period that saw a Shogan determined to eradicate the blasphemous Jesuit Christians that he felt were a threat to both him and the way he ruled over his people. This was a brutal story and terrible things happen but it's told clearly and is very easy to read. I'm not someone who knows very much about Japanese history so did find this snapshot to be interesting. A ...more
KitKat The #BookNerd KBbookreviews

This story is set in Japan during the 1600's. Based off of actual history, we follow Father Joaquim as he tries to live, fight and protect his village against the Shogun's forces. Father Joaquim is a Christian, a Jesuit, who helps guide his village in this faith, the Shogun however, despises Christians (who are outlawed) as he believes they are there to spy on him and his country in order to help an invasion. Thus, he routinely sends his forces to find, torture and execute all Christians, pa
S. Naomi Scott
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review. My thanks to Harper Inspire and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity.

In the early years of the Tokugawa Shogunate all Christians were expelled from Japan. Those who remained, did so at the risk of torture and death. Father Joaquim Martinez, a Portuguese Jesuit, is one of those who chose to stay behind, spreading the word of the Lord. However, he can’t hide for ever and
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When approaching any historical period, and especially such a traumatic one as the Christian persecution in Japan, an author needs to have a deft, nuanced touch to portray events and characters sensitively. Unfortunately for The Swords of Silence, this is something Shaun Curry lacks. This is the type of book I would have put down about fifty pages in if I had been reading it for personal enjoyment, and I think the fac
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking!

Swords of Silence is a story that is set in 17th Century feudal Japan. Based on the conflict between Japanese Christians and the Shogun (Japanese Emperor) that outlawed Christianity it depicts the tale of a Christian priest, Father Joaquim who attempts to protect his village from the Shogun.

As someone who is familiar with Japanese history and has a great love for tales based in feudal Japan, I found this to be a very intriguing read. The short and snappy chapters provided a go
Linda Hepworth
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The short prologue to this truly shocking story gives an account of more than a dozen badly beaten and tortured prisoners, heads shaved and painted red, being led through the streets of Nagasaki City in June 1626, prior to being tied to execution stakes and then burnt alive. This “death march” comprised two European priests, five lay Portuguese prisoners, and two ships’ captains, all found guilty of aiding Japanese Christians; the final few victims were Japanese individuals who had sheltered pri ...more
Alex (Gadget Girl 71)
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book may not be for everyone. To enjoy it I think you will have to have some interest in Japan and it’s culture. Maybe have a little knowledge about way the country used to be run by warlords and their armies of Samurai warriors.

For me this is book was a very enjoyable read, I have read many a non fiction book on Japan, it’s Warlords, Samurai warriors, Geisha’s and Concubines. So this is the sort of book I enjoy reading. I did notice that this book is classed as historical fiction, which I
Elite Group
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A harrowing story of a Jesuit priest and his Christian parishioners in 17th century Japan

The year is 1626. For nearly 25 years, Father Joaquim has been a Jesuit missionary in Japan, where he and his catechists, Tonia and Miguel, live in secret, sheltered by the devout Christians of their small village. During that time, Father Joaquim has ministered to his parish and studied the culture in which he lives, mastering the Japanese Way of the Sword. However, the situation for Christians in Japan is
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was given a copy in exchange for an fair review

Warning: Some spoilers but not much

Swords and Silence is a brutal story about the persecution of Christians in Japan, when the Shogun Imeitsu was fearful of foreign intervention from the Portugesse and the Dutch. This was an age after the Sengoku Jidhai, the civil war of Japan’s warlords had ended. In a way, Father Joaquim was one of the most bravest characters in the book. No matter what came in his way, whether it was through the storms, the tor
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The Swords of Silence” is a great read that helped me learn a history I didn’t know (I am really bad at history and I was never interested in it at school to actually want expand my knowledge).
Even though the book is a fiction, it describes the regime of Shogun in 1620s Japan and how terrible was life of Christians - with torture and death waiting for them behind every corner. I always appreciate books that teach me something about our world and this one made me search more information about w
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a free Ebook of this through Netaglley from HarperCollins Publishers UK

Set in 1600's Japan when Christianity was banned under the threat of execution. It was very interesting to learn about a period of history I knew nothing about.

The writing was easy to read, with short chapters which made a good pace. Apart from one chapter near the end (I think the Ebook may have jumped over a section of Text ) the storyline was easy to follow

However whilst i'm sure it is historically accurate th
Kamila Komisarek
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
„The Swords of Silence” is a historical novel written by Shaun Curry. I was really intrigued when I found this book on NetGalley. Even though it’s not fantasy (that’s how it was categorised there), Japanese culture always seems interesting for me, so I requested this book right away.
The book is starting with a scene in the prologue where Japanese magister is crucifying and burning Christian prisoners. That gives us the feeling of the times where the action is set for the novel. Other religions
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: earcs

**Thank you to HarperInspire for an ARC copy of this to honestly review**

A historical fiction novel that is an action-packed story of the power of faith and the good of mankind that brings people of different lands and religions together against those who are cruel and oppress.

How often Western History forgets that we were not the only ones with castles and feudal systems, and Curry reminds us that Japan was a land with its own culture and with aspects tha
Miss A
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love historical fiction and not knowing much about this period of Japanese history I was looking forward to an opportunity to learn. From what I could tell the book has been well researched. Much of the plot was interesting and the gore added to the message the author was trying to get across, the bravery of the men and women murdered for refusing to renounce their religion. I admire this sentiment and agree that those people deserve recognition!

Religious martyrs are something we read about qu
Gemma McGee
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shaun Curry doesn't hold back this book is brutal.

I think that I have a strong stomach for violence but some of it took me by surprise. It shows what people were willing to do to each other due to religious persecution.

The story direction is guided by Father Joaquim Martinez faith, this means that you are never sure what is going to happen. It doesn't matter what situation Father Martinez is in his belief is always strong.

The Sword of Silence is a book that in places I wanted to read between my
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's Japan 1620 and Christian Father Joaquim Martinez yearns for a quiet life. In Hinzen Province, Japan, he wants nothing more than to quietly spread the word of God. Unfortunately, that's impossible. When the country's military dictator - the Shogun - outlaws Christianity, his and his villagers' lives are irrevocably changed. Those who won't recant their beliefs, face a sentence of tortuous death. With the threat of a massacre looming and the Shogun's Samurai closing in, Father Martinez has to ...more
John Pantelides
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I only read this book because I won it - and at first I was a bit reluctant. I don't really read Samurai books and this one seemed to be one written by an American! At least get someone from the right part of the world! So I started the book mainly so I could just get it over and done with. I didn't expect it to be something I would enjoy... and I'm pleased to say I was wrong! A lot of action right from the offset and interesting characters and ideas. There's also some educational value as it re ...more
Rowena Andrews
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
The Swords of Silence left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is about a historical period and culture that I am interested in, and the amount of research that has obviously gone into this book, makes it a standout read in that regard. Unfortunately, it was the execution that I struggled with – not the brutality of the book, although a fair warning it is brutal and does not shy away from the darker, harsher aspects of this period. However, there were many places where it felt as though ...more
Riccardo Ferrari
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
We are in a not too distant Japan. The dictatorship is harsh and ruthless - the Shogun is always right and does not allow for any different opinion. Only the most violent nobles and generals will be considered by the dictator. And the more the hate Christians and the more they take initiatives to persecute and kill them all, the more they will be regarded in favour from the dictator.

It is a fascinating age, of which I certainly knew little about. It is interesting to see how history repeats and
Natali Grace
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five Stars!!!!! *****

This is a fascinating book and anyone who has rated it less than four stars clearly has not read more than 10 chapters.

The book is set in the 1600s, a time when Christianity was outlawed in Japan. The setting appears to be well-researched for those intrigued by the historical side.

If historical fiction is your genre - you will love it. If you are into Japanese culture and history - you will love it. If you like a lot of action, you will love it.

Similar to the novel ‘War a
Nichola Welham
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Swords of Silence is a brutal yet gripping read that highlights the evil that men do and the power of faith.
If I had to only use one word to describe this then it would have to be BRUTAL.
It’s a Japanese historical fiction based upon the persecution of Japanese Christians, and follows a priest trying to protect his village from the Shogun. After reading the first-look of this I thought that I would really enjoy it and was delighted to be sent a copy for review, but it turned out to be a too b
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having read the first impression (over on ReadersFirst) I was less than enthused with this book however it turned out to be a unique and enjoyable read.
I thoroughly loved the fact that it's set in 1600s Japan, an era I know nothing about, as it made it completely unique. Something I love considering how many cliche and repetitive plots can be found these days. It was also a well paced novel which moved well from each 'mini-plot' to the next.
However, I will say almost all of the key characters
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
A book about a fighting christian priest who turns from delivering sermons to slicing up the Samurai oppressors.

I was looking for a good historical book on Nagasaki. This begins well, overdoing the gore but educational in regard to the Japanese 1600s. It takes a bum steer at the end of the book, going all mormon on the reader as the Bushido Priest is lent the powers of god, this is the fantasy portion of the novel, or maybe another testament.

This would have been fine, but i found the character
Nigel West
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As with all good books, Swords of Silence grips your attention from the first page.
The story is set from May to July 1626, a time when Christians had already been outlawed in Japan for the last ten years. It tells of their struggle, focusing on the ones that live in the small village of Arima, led by Father Joaquim.
The author describes in vivid detail the horrific ordeals they encounter, with the Shogun and his samurai during this period. It isn't for the faint hearted!
The book is based on truth
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
In the 1600’s Europe was sending missionaries to convert the world to Catholicism. This book details the story of Father Joaquim Martinez who left Portugal to go to live and preach in Japan. In return he’s been taught the Japanese “Way of the Sword” training for Samurai. The Shogun wants all foreigners and Christians expelled from Japan or exterminated.
The plot is good keeping you interested and wanting to know what happens next but unfortunately the prose is very repetitive when the Japanese of
Laura Newsholme
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book just wasn't for me at all and I found it a slog to get through. It tells the story of Joaquim, a Christian missionary in Shogunate Japan in 1626 and the persecution of the Christians there.

The Positives: The only positive thing I can think of for this was that I enjoyed the tournament aspect of the narrative and the setting was fascinating, but it wasn't explored or done justice in the narrative.

The Negatives: The writing was dry and completely uninspiring, which is a shame, because th
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
There were too many characters in the beginning so I struggled to keep up with who was who. The names were also foreign so that made it more difficult. The first half of the book was OK but then as I started to get more attached to the characters, I started hoping that they would get through their struggles. I was tensed when they reached troubles, and happy when it was resolved. Overall, it felt almost like a retelling of a Bible story, but set in Japan instead. Although the author mentions tha ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This certainly isn’t the usual book I would choose to first I found it difficult to read as there were quite a few characters to get to grips with. The Swords of Silence is based on actual history and is quite a brutal read. It really shows you how terrible life was for Christians which is described in vivid detail. The book was quite gripping from the start. I found I got through half the book and was desperate to find out what happened to the characters, I felt quite attached and was pr ...more
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Fascinated by Japan from an early age, Shaun Curry went on to study and work in Tokyo, where he developed a passion for the country, its culture and history.

An avid collector of rare books, maps and artefacts, he has spent more than ten years researching in the Papal Archives in Rome, the British Library in London, and the New York Public library, amassing the wealth of knowledge that enriches his

Other books in the series

The Swords of Fire Trilogy (2 books)
  • Of Blood and Flame (The Swords of Fire Trilogy #2)

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