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The Sword That Cut the Burning Grass

(Samurai Detective #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  40 reviews
When fourteen-year-old samurai apprentice Seikei is sent on a mission by the shogun, he believes it to be a simple one: convince the fourteen-year-old emperor to resume his ceremonial duties. But then the emperor is kidnapped, and Seikei finds himself in the middle of an elaborate plot to overthrow the shogun. With the help of a mysterious warrior, he must rescue the emper ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published November 2nd 2006 by Puffin Books (first published 2005)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  330 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who love historical fiction
Recommended to William by: Saw at the library while returning another book
I read the series out of order, but was still happy with each book. This is the first of the series that I read, and will delight readers young and old.

This book is historical fiction, so if you are not into Japanese samurai from the eighteenth century, you may not find it as fascinating, but it is still worth the read due to the detailed, vivid descriptions created by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler.
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Definitely the best plot out of the sequels (books 2, 3, and this one, 4). Almost a startlingly quick pace, actually-- sort of a headrush. A lot happens in 200 pages.

... and once again, I stand by my complaint: Where is Judge Ooka? After the first book, he's barely in the series, other than the first and last chapter of each book. Seikei cannot hold this entire series up himself.

Speaking of which-- it really sinks in what a fool Seikei is. I mean, seriously! Up until now I've been giving him a
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Here is what I love about these Samurai Detective novels:

1. SLIM as a motherfucker. No unnecessary text. (It took me about five tries to spell 'unnecessary' correctly)
2. Seikei is like James Bond, except I actually like him. And also in that he meets a different girl every book.
3. Judge Ooka is AWESOME.
4. I learn stuff! Today I was able to wow my kids with the fact that "risu" means "squirrel" in Japanese. My kids then proceeded to tell me what squirrel is in Chinese and Spanish. (It's one of th
4.5 stars. Another fantastic mystery featuring my favorite young samurai detective, Seikei. I am a sucker for kings/emperors/shoguns in disguise walking among their commoner subjects. The 14 year old emperor is missing and the shogun asks 14 year old Seikei to convince the emperor to return to his duties.

Seikei is aided by an old ronin (masterless samurai) thief who is also interested in the missing emperor. But it is difficult to determine which warriors are on the side of good. The emperor mus
L.A. James
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book 4 in the Samurai Detective series.

It is a great story, and I gotta tell you that the cover does not do it justice, and it frustrates me that it is even on the book. The writing of the book is well done. Don't let the cover hinder you.
Angela Boord
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This series is so solid, and all of us (10-adult) are really enjoying it. Seikei continues to develop as a character as he grows up, and it is really satisfying to read mystery/thrillers for a young YA audience that don't skimp on stakes. ...more
Johnny Bennett
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Demon in the Teahouse is still the best one. But The Sword that Cut the Burning Grass is still very good. Some of the happenings seem to stretch credulity and the primary character doesn't appear to grow properly.
Also, more violent then the first books.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy seeing what trouble Seikei gets himself into in each book. I also enjoy seei,g Seikei grow up in each book.
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hoobler had me hooked from the danger, excitement to the true emotion given each character.
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hoobler would have be proud to write this.
During the period of Yoshimune, the 8th shogun of the Tokugawa family, Judge Ooka was well respected for his wise and honest decisions and regarded as the Sherlock Holmes of Japan.

Seikei was born to a merchant family, but had won the Judge's respect when he voluntarily assisted him solve a case and prevent serious injustice. Judge Ooka adopted Seikei and is fulfilling Seikei's dream to become a samurai.
Now fourteen year old samurai apprentice Seikei is called upon to assist his adopti
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in the six book Samurai Mysteries series by the Hooblers. It was a great addition to the series and Seikei starts to show a lot of maturity in some of the decisions that he makes.

In this book Seikei is sent by the shogun to try and convince the boy-emperor to resume his duties. The emperor is a boy Seikei's age and has run away to a temple because he does not believe he is the true emperor. Seikei sets out to find the emperor but runs amok of a plot that is much bigger th
Azzan Khan
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh no the emperor has gone missing! What should we do? Who will find him? What happened to him? Well this job is for none other than young Sekie the samurai detective.Join him in a case he never had come across from.He learned from the shogun himself that the emperor is the same age as Sekie and he didn't want to be emperor anymore.But without the emperor then he couldn't plant the seed to bring luck to the farmers,and without the emperor to plant the seeds then the farmers will refuse to plant ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, adventure
I forgot how good this book was. After a quick re-read, I think it has become my second favorite in the Samurai Detective series.

It’s a nice change of pace that Judge Ooka's not in it much. It give Seikei a chance to prove himself even more than he has—of course, he also makes a few poor decisions, gets blamed for *everything*, and almost loses his honor, but he always finds a way to overcome his obstacles.

I do wish we could have seen Yasuhito a little more since the whole book revolves around
These are always great reads, but I felt like this one really hit the mark. I still have the same criticisms: Seikei's actions have dire consequences that are too easily resolved or forgotten. Sometimes people go missing or leave without much commentary, done in a too-convenient fashion. But, overall, the story taught me so much about Japanese culture and legends, and was thoroughly entertaining. Pieces fit together very well, leading to the thrilling conclusion. Something to be considered, too, ...more
Jul 10, 2016 added it
Shelves: discarded
Not even sure how I ended up in possession of this YA novel, but it strikes me as exactly the type of book that parents and libraries wish on teenagers, who resist for possibly good reason. Who could object to a 14 year old protagonist who loves and respects his father, and a plot grounded in good historical research? And yet... there is just so much EXPLAINING. I don't fault the authors, I doubt that this particular plot could possibly have made the slightest sense without a lot of telling as w ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
The story itself was pretty awesome, and was a very good epic of a imaginary hero. I really liked how they plotted the story, making it really based on true mythology and history. It seemed very easy to understand. I think this book should of been longer, because it was so very good. It also has a very good plot, and had such good word choice. I've learned more Japanese words in the book. The only thing left a mystery to me was the origin of the character "Hato" in the story. The best part for ...more
Isaiah Sims
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
the sword that cut the burning grass is about a man or samuri that has a misson on finding the sercet that once tookmout a whole village and the emiper wants to find it but on his long journy he face trouble at ever corner of people that wants this same sword.This book was very boring at first but when u read som more the book start getting you to read more about the empire and the man on the jorney I think that if you like history and stuff that not real this book is for you.
Aug 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting. I loved learning more about 18th Century Japan. This the 3rd in a series and I haven't read the first two, so I was missing out on some character development. Hoobler set the scene very well. She's not over descriptive, just the right amount to take you there. Also, since it is a samurai story there was some violence which I skipped when I smelled it coming. ...more
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is another one of the Iowa Children's choice Award Nominees. This is probably my favorite of the four I've read so far. It is a mystery that takes place in Japan. i enjoyed all the Japanese History. I want to read the other three books by these authors. ...more
Christina Farley
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
At first I struggled getting into the story because I really didn't like Seikei (MC), but I did love the mystery of the story and how the Hooblers wove in Japanese myths. And it brought back fond memories of my time in Kyoto. ...more
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, teen, mystery
Seikei is sent by the shogun to persuade the 14 year old Emperor to return to his duties from a monastary. Alone, Seikei must struggle with court intrigue, an uprising, and a plot to overthrow the shogun. Seikei assists the Emperor's grandfather in stealing a sword to preserve the Emperor's life. ...more
Talyseon Talyseon
This is one of those rare books for kids that adults can enjoy almost as much. It's a fun little mystery set in feudal Japan. Check out my full review: The Sword that Cut the Burning Grass ...more
Bryan Newberry
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery Samurai People
Seikei, 14, has a mission from the shogun and must get the emperor to return to his duties. Awesome book! My review is boring but the book is not!

I has a Bucket!
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The last of the books about the young Seikei's mysterious adventures. ...more
Rachel Kopel
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fourth in The Samurai Series
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fourth in a mystery series set in 1700's Japan, good mystery and also good info about Japan. ...more
Bcoghill Coghill
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Preteen boys
I do like these books and enjoy the story arc of the series.
It is a good series for preteen boys.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Love it! Looked for this book for a while!
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great young adult fiction.
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Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, a married couple who have written numerous books together, were drawn to this story of great writers inspiring each other collaboratively. Their most recent novel, In Darkness, Death, won a 2005 Edgar Award. They live in New York City.

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Other books in the series

Samurai Detective (7 books)
  • The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (Samurai Detective, #1)
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