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CompleteMartialArts.com - Bundori


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Manufacturer: HarperTorch
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813.54
EAN: 9780061011979
ISBN: 0061011975
Label: HarperTorch
Manufacturer: HarperTorch
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 432
Publication Date: 1997-06-01
Publisher: HarperTorch
Release Date: 1997-04-24
Studio: HarperTorch

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Editorial Reviews:

It is early spring, 1679, and the feudal Japanese capital, Edo, is beginning to blossom. But along its peaceful, misty streets evil lurks. With one stroke, the favored vassal of the ruling family is decapitated, his head taken for a bundori -- a war trophy.
Sano Ichiro, the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People, is called to find the culprit. In a city where danger and deceit lie just below the lush surface, Sano must rely on his mind, his instincts, and his noble training in Bushido -- the Way of the Warrior -- to solve this case that could bring him glory...or everlasting shame. Set against a backdrop of sumptuous castles, tawdry pleasure districts, and serene temples, and filled with unforgettable, rich characters, Bundori is breathtaking entertainment.




Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Hmmm..
Comment: I read a lot of the reviews before buying this and I can see why the audience is split. Some find this engrossing, some just tedious. My MOR ruling is that it is indeed tedious in places but captivating in others. The historical 'feel' is good, the character tensions enough to keep the plot moving, and the sex scenes provide the necessary interludes. My criticism is that in striving for an antique feel, the author slips into antique language [my favourite was a ghost who talks about 'making dung'] and this can be quite jarring [especially in the sexual interludes, where characters are large of member, dark of nipple].
All in all, acceptable for a plane ride but I don't see collecting the entire set.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Bundori Review
Comment: This book seemed to explore too many avenues and had the usual formula to cover up the "who did it" scenario in a murder mystery. Sometimes I was quite disturbed with the sexual subject matter. The authour did spend sometime researching and giving fantastic imagery to medieval Japan. So I felt I was enlightened in that respect. The ending is really rushed and not conventional. I thought is was weak and the overall story was robbed because of it.



Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Sano Ichiro faces off against a mad killer and the weight of bushido
Comment: Laura Joh Rowland's "Bundori" continues the saga of young Sano Ichiro, hero of her earlier novel "Shinju." While "Bundori" opens with Sano enjoying the fruits of his successful murder investigation in the earlier novel, he finds his enjoyment tempered by several burdens.

First and foremost, Sano has advanced through the ranks to become a valued-but-low-ranking member of the Shogun's vast entourage. While to an outsider, such a station would be an unmitigated pleasure, particularly in the hyper-class-conscious culture of Japan under the Tokugawa Shoguns. Unfortunately, the rigid code of Bushido, which all samurai must honor with their very lives, demands that a subordinate can never contradict a superior official . . . and Sano is now surrounded by superior officials.

The strictures of Bushido are difficult to bear under the most hum-drum of circumstances, but the code becomes quite the lodestone for Sano when he is assigned by the Shogun as the chief investigator of a recent murder. An aged, loyal aide to the Shogun has been horribly murdered, decapitated with one sword cut. The lopped-off head has been put on a spike as a seeming war trophy -- a "bundori" -- with an obscure name attached to it on a scrap of paper. As a famous investigator, Sano is charged with discovering the murderer.

But this task is made just about impossible by the fact that several of the suspects are Sano's superiors, including the jealous, all-powerful chamberlain - second only to the Shogun in terms of temporal power. Not only is the chamberlain a suspect, he fosters an outright hatred of Sano and seems to be actively opposing the investigation, although his motives for his hatred aren't clear.

In a brief novel (340-odd pages, but with a big font), Rowland keeps things going at a quick pace. Themes of duty and honor predominate, but Rowland still finds time for torrid romance, quick humor, and several chilling passages where we lurk inside the mind of the murderer, a horrifying killer whose murderous fantasies involve battles and slights from over 100 years in the past. Rowland's Japan comes through with clarity and with beauty on every single page.

While perhaps a pedestrian mystery (something along the lines of Sharon Kay Penman's medieval mysteries), "Bundori" is still a darn good read and a worthy sequel to her highly enjoyable "Shinju." I'm definitely looking forward to diving into the later works in this series.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: The Politics Begin
Comment: Having started the stories of Sano Ichiro with Shinju, I decided to progress onto the second book instead of jumping around in the series. I found the book to be enjoyable in both its changes and simularites.

The story takes place just a couple of months after Shinju. Sano is learning his way around the ways of Edo Castle and his new lord, Tokugawa. When the Bundori killings begin (bundori is the ritual preparation of the head of one's enemy in the time of war. A war trophy), Sano is assigned to arrest the murdered.

Not only does the murder plot, steeped in the history of one of the most notorious generals in the rise of the Tokugawa dynasty, engage the reader and keep the reader off guard, the polical development of the story is rich and shows the venonous trends of life in Edo Castle.

The story adds a number of interesting characters to the tapestry of Rowland's Edo. Hirata is competent and a good potential assistant to Sano. Aoi adds a new dynamic to the entire setting. She is strong and has her internal conflicts than carry on through the story.

There is more to the book than plot and an interesting setting though, the end of the story sees a genuine change in the character. I definitely look forward to reading Way of the Traitor to see how that change is carried on to the next story.
The book is a good and entertaining read.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Fun Detective story,
Comment: I like all of the stories in this series. Not as much for the detective aspect, wich is good, but more for the office politics correlations to real life. It's sad but true, that ability and performance will always be targeted by insecure non talents more than they will be rewarded for greatness. If you've ever felt like this you will relate to this hero, as he tries to balance being a good man and still keep his job.


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