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Daughter of the Sword (Fated Blades, #1)
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Monthly Read: Urban Fantasy > July 2013: Daughter of the Sword *Roll Call*

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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (last edited Jun 08, 2013 07:24AM) (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments This book won for our Asian Theme for the month of July.

Let's have at it!

message 2: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Interesting Essay by author:
Born in Japan: Steve Bein talks about the inspiration behind DAUGHTER OF THE SWORD

Instead of telling you what Daughter of the Sword is about, I think I’ll say a little something about where it came from. After all, there are plenty of people who can tell you what it’s about: Publishers Weekly has done that for you already, and of course Penguin has too. But those folks don’t know how the book came about in the first place, so I thought I’d share something new here, something that no one else can tell.

Daughter of the Sword was born in Japan—in the midst of a typhoon, in fact. I was living in a tiny apartment on the top floor of a teensy little house in Nagoya, with flimsy wooden walls that rattled like maracas and a corrugated tin roof that shuddered like it might rip free at any moment. (The place wasn’t exactly built to withstand earthquakes, let alone hurricane–force winds.) In hindsight I’m not even sure how I managed to fall asleep in those conditions, but I did, and I had a dream about a katana that left a haunting, keening note on the air whenever it cut. It was the wind singing that note, of course, and eventually it got violent enough to wake me up. I groggily scribbled something about the dream, and what began as half–lucid notes written at 2:00 in the morning eventually became a novella about the katana known as Beautiful Singer, and about the vengeful spirit that resides in her.

Under those conditions it was hardly an accident that I was dreaming about chilling notes on the air, and as for dreaming about swords, that could have happened on any given night. I’ve been enamored with samurai and ninja stories since childhood, and one of my favorite things about living in Japan was the many opportunities I had to visit medieval castles, with their ever–present displays of weapons and armor. There’s a castle in Osaka that will rent you samurai armor, and one in Iga where they have someone demonstrate how to run through walls. No special effects: just the most cleverly constructed paneling you’ve ever seen, and a woman in a pink ninja suit running right through it.

Truth to tell, I didn’t ever set out to write urban fantasy. Much of Daughter of the Sword is really historical fantasy, as is the companion novella, Only a Shadow. I started with the samurai and ninja stories I’ve always loved, but as these were taking shape, I saw they were scattered over too broad a span of Japanese history. They needed someone to unify them.

Enter Mariko Oshiro, the only woman to earn a detective’s badge and sergeant’s stripes in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. She’s also my only protagonist in the 21st century—the only one with a perspective long enough to tie all the historical storylines together. I didn’t expect her to take over the book, but that’s exactly what she did. She quickly picked up the trail of Beautiful Singer, the ultimate murder weapon, so in a sense that Nagoya typhoon gave birth to Mariko too. It inspired the sword, and then created the need for a sleuth clever enough to discover just how bloody the sword’s path has been over the last nine hundred years.

Like I said, I didn’t expect Mariko to commandeer my book, but now that she’s here, I’ve come to like her. A lot. She’s tough, she’s smart, she’s resourceful, she’s bullheaded—and that’s before she gets a sword in her hands. Now that I think of it, she’s exactly the kind of woman you’d expect to have a hurricane for a mother.

message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Any reading this?

message 4: by jaw (new) - rated it 4 stars

jaw | 85 comments I will be reading this but I haven't started yet. After reading how the it was born, I'm even more excited to start reading it.

Jalilah Sure! I will give it a try in July.

message 6: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin | 284 comments I probably will. This sounds like the type of Urban fantasy that I might like.

Kimberly Read | 156 comments I'm in. :)

message 8: by Jalilah (last edited Jun 10, 2013 05:43AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jalilah As I already said I will join the Daughter of the Sword group read in July, however I would also like to buddy read When Fox is a Thousand. I had already bought a copy.
I hope it is okay to post that here Carol and MrsJoseph! I already posted this in the buddy read thread.

message 9: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Jalilah wrote: "As I already said I will join the Daughter of the Sword group read in July, however I would also like to buddy read When Fox is a Thousand. I hope it is okay to post that here Carol and MrsJoseph! ..."

That's fine.

message 10: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi (1stavenue) I'll join in, too. I was hoping another book on the list get chosen since I already have a copy, but after reading this short essay, I'm looking forward to getting into this book. Bein sounds like a fascinating writer.

message 11: by Sophie (new) - added it

Sophie (imhrien) | 433 comments I'll be joining in once I get my copy (sometime in the coming week, hopefully)

Cheryl (chesan) | 32 comments I'm inspired to read after seeing Lady Danielle's review. Count me in.

message 13: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments I requested it from the library--no other holds! Unfortunately, I'm also in an intense 4 week class, so we'll see how soon I can get to it. :(

Carly (dawnsio_ar_y_dibyn) | 192 comments I'm about halfway through. I'm really liking it so far.

Jalilah I am looking forward to it!

Christopher Preiman | 50 comments About 20% in and loving it. No idea what's going on yet but still.

message 17: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments I started, am just now past the first 'past' section. It's interesting, and not annoying me at all.

Carly (dawnsio_ar_y_dibyn) | 192 comments I finished it and really enjoyed it. If you have a copy, I definitely recommend reading the afterward--Bein talks about the historical figures, inspiration, cultural differences visible between US and Japanese police forces, tomato-throwing, and hobbits...

message 19: by Aelliana (last edited Jun 30, 2013 03:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Aelliana (aelli) | 41 comments I'm also looking forward to reading this. I just need to finish one or two library books first. I don't want to go to the back of the line for the new Gaiman book! (even if the library have fourteen copies)

message 20: by Mina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mina Khan (spicebites) | 141 comments Just bought my copy!!! Looking forward to the read & the discussion :)

message 21: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Carol wrote: "I started, am just now past the first 'past' section. It's interesting, and not annoying me at all."

Strange, though. I liked it.

Cheryl (chesan) | 32 comments I'm starting chapter 23. Really enjoying the read although it's not as immersive as I hoped it would be but that's subject to change. The protagonist is likeable, the antagonist (both human and sword) frightening and I'm very curious to see where this goes.

Kimberly Read | 156 comments I'm in the second section. I find the story intriguing and can't wait to see where it goes. However, I think the author needs to spend a little more time in developing conversation. The dialog is stilted. No way a hardened, drug dealing, methhead is going to say, "Alrighty" when threatened by a cop. Just saying.

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When Fox is a Thousand (other topics)

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