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Kimiko Chou, Girl Samurai

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KIMIKO CHOU is a girl on a mission. Her mother and brother have been killed by robbers in 14th century Japan while her father, a samurai warrior, is off on an invasion of Korea.

Chou ("butterfly" in Japanese) narrowly escapes death by hiding while the robbers ransack her home, then—dressed as a boy in her brother's clothes—she goes in quest of her father. Alone on the road, she takes up with Hyōgo Narutomi, a former samurai who has been dismissed by seven previous masters, and Moto Mori, his page.

The three of them—man, boy, and girl—make their way across Japan along with Piebald, an old horse with a curious spot on his coat that resembles a Fenghuang, the mythical bird that rules over all others in Asian mythology. Together this unlikely trio experience a series of adventures and narrow escapes until Chou and Mori—but not Narutomi—land in Korea. There, as a spy for the Koreans, Chou searches for her father-across enemy lines!

140 pages, Kindle Edition

Published March 15, 2021

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About the author

Con Chapman

54 books11 followers

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5 stars
3 (23%)
4 stars
4 (30%)
3 stars
4 (30%)
2 stars
1 (7%)
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1 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
4,681 reviews48 followers
February 18, 2021
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

After her mother and brother are killed by bandits, a girl dresses in boys' clothes and tries to get to Korea to find her father. Along the way, she joins up with a ronin and his page. The ronin is looking for a new Lord, while the page is a peasant lad The ronin is little more than a bandit himself, and leads the girl on various adventures on her way to Korea.

When they get to Korea, they find their problems were just beginning.

Recommended for Mulan fans.
Profile Image for Alex Nonymous.
Author 15 books295 followers
January 20, 2021
Thanks to the publisher for providing a digital review copy of Kimiko Chou, Girl Samurai in exchange for an honest review.

Con Chapman starts their translator note with the statement "the remarkable story you are about to read is truth, not fiction" which I honestly think is the best way to describe this. Kimiko's story feels like a fable or legend and I had to keep reminding myself that it was a translation of a memoir. If you're trying to get into that style of book, I'd definitely recommend this one. It's short and fast-paced and holds your interest from beginning to end.
Profile Image for Nancy Lewis.
1,097 reviews38 followers
June 11, 2021
The story was well-paced and engaging until Chou got to Korea. Then it seemed like the author got bored with it, and just wanted to wrap things up. The rest of the story happened way too fast, and problems were solved way too easily.
Profile Image for River.
176 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2021
A true story of courage

I really enjoyed this story and was surprised to find that it was a real story from 14th century Japan. It is written in an engaging conversational style and grabs your attention. I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Ikayuro.
153 reviews5 followers
February 22, 2021
Before I begin my review, I wanted to mention that I won a copy of this book in a giveaway; thank you so much!

This book was quite enjoyable, if a bit short and raw in its writing. I feel that there's a potential to really dig into the story behind the memoirs this book is based on, but there's also the desire to stick to the original as close as possible, I'm sure. The climax and ending of the story are also over too quickly, and leave something to be desired by means of wrapping up the journey.

In the end, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Historical books of this particular Era. While short, it's still a great little read!
Profile Image for Nafiza.
28 reviews12 followers
February 21, 2021
Free ARC given for honest review:

Girl Samurai isn't a very in depth book but works as a wonderful glimpse in to Kimiko Chou's life. The author claims it's a true story found in a second hand manuscript. Part of me hopes that's not true because while the book was worth the time and is interesting it also leaves me wanting more. Very exciting and a wonderful look at ancient Japan, it still feels like a bit of an outline versus a fully fleshed out story.

I do hope that it turns out to be "real" as Memoirs of a Geisha was so we can see a second volume.
Profile Image for Kathy Webb.
465 reviews25 followers
March 17, 2021
I won this Kindle edition book in a Goodreads
Giveaway. Thank you to everyone involved.
Interesting - great characters.
33 reviews
February 19, 2021

Enjoyable short read that could potentially fleshed out into a more detailed adventure. It was like reading an outline submitted as base material for a creative arts class
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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