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A stark, fierce, and fascinating start to what promises to be a rewarding trilogy. The Swords of Silence is set in Japan during 1626 as the Shogun slams shut the door to outside influences. If Father Joaquim Martinez and the village he tends, fail to renounce their religion, they face a hideous death. It took a little time for me to settle into the names, the time, the land, however I was soon gripped by the story on offer. The dedication at the beginning states that between 1614 and 1643 the Shogun executed almost 5,000 Christians. Shaun Curry writes with a simplicity that to be quite honest, feels necessary in the bloodshed that follows. He doesn’t revel in the gore, instead quite matter-of-factly describes incidents that somehow feel all the more real. I have to say that I have rather fallen for Master Watanabe and do hope that he makes a reappearance in the trilogy! Exploring a time and place from long ago, The Swords of Silence took me with picture sharp clarity into a compelling story.
For the Shogun, there is no middle ground. You challenge his authority, you breath your last. But God forbid you pass through his hands. You'll face the flame of fury, a punishment worse than death. Father Martinez, a European Samurai, only came to Japan to hide an unforgivable past. But maybe his past has caught up with him? Little did he know he would face the Shogun's fury of hell to save those he loves. With pressures mounting and his network of kinsmen dying around the country, Martinez is forced out of hiding this time to face the Shogun's regime and a formidable arch nemesis. A new enemy questions why the bodies of the villagers were not found, nor their deaths confirmed. His paranoia grows. Martinez has learned very quickly that his gift in the martial arts might have greater purposes than he initially thought. He's faced the greatest test of his life and only wants one thing - safety for his people. But safety comes at a price much higher than he can pay. Of Blood and Flame is the second book in The Swords of Fire Trilogy.