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Swords of Silence Reader Reviews

Swords of Silence

E.A. Rhodes

The true bravery of a Jesuit priest in a land where Christianity is illegal, and where both Christians and those who aid them are tortured, imprisoned and killed.

By the middle of 1626, Christianity had been illegal for 10 years under the orders of the Shogun, who decreed that all Christians must die painful deaths, and anyone who aided them would also be tortured and killed. Father Joaquim, a Jesuit priest, who lived with the villagers of Arima, had to spend a lot of time in hiding, cared for and hidden when necessary by them, under the watchful eye of Master Yamaguchi, a sympathetic and caring samurai who was teaching Joaquim and some others the skills of samurai fighting.
This heart-in-your-mouth story follows Joaquim into even more danger; the village is attacked by a detachment of samurai and everyone taken prisoner. Forced marches, prisons, rescue, more marches amid constant danger; injury and death among them for a lot of the time. They are aided at different times by different brave Buddhists – whose belief is they should think of others before themselves, even if by doing so they risk their own lives.
An incredible, fast-paced story based on true historical fact and incredible bravery, from the oldest to the youngest everyone in this book will weld themselves into your heart and your mind.

Nigel West

Persecution, Torture and Death. Their epic struggle unfolds, Christians Vs The Shogun. Will faith alone prevail?

As with all good books, Swords of Silence grips your attention from the first page.
The story is set from May to July 1626, a time when Christians had already been outlawed in Japan for the last ten years. It tells of their struggle, focusing on the ones that live in the small village of Arima, led by Father Joaquim.

The author describes in vivid detail the horrific ordeals they encounter, with the Shogun and his samurai during this period. It isn't for the faint-hearted!

The book is based on truth which is a strength, as well as the fact that it has short chapters which keep you gripped and make you want to keep reading the next one and the next.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope it gets the attention it deserves. I can't wait for the next instalment.

Nikki Telling

Japan 1620. Joaquim Martinez yearns for a quiet life. Hunting him, a Shogun led massacre. Graphically told and vividly described. It's brilliant!

It's Japan 1620 and Christian Father Joaquim Martinez yearns for a quiet life. In Hinzen Province, Japan, he wants nothing more than to quietly spread the word of God. Unfortunately, that's impossible. When the country's military dictator - the Shogun - outlaws Christianity, his and his villagers' lives are irrevocably changed. Those who won't recant their beliefs, face a sentence of torturous death. With the threat of a massacre looming and the Shogun's Samurai closing in, Father Martinez has to risk everything for the villagers he's come to think of as family.

Based on actual historical events, this is a non-stop action adventure described in vivid detail. The main characters are relatable despite their time being hundreds of years ago in a very foreign land. They have such human traits that cross the years, you can almost forget that this is the 1600s and a tale of religious persecution. Sadly, the written aspect of religious persecution is something that is all too believable given the recurrences of this over time. In this respect, the book is graphic both in the violence bestowed and the emotions felt at such unforgivable acts. I willed certain characters to be spared and despaired if they were not. The Swords of Silence has landed itself in my top 10 books where it sits alongside legends such as 1984 and The Book Thief. I absolutely loved this book!

Ania -

The Swords of Silence is a great read that helped me learn about a part of history I didn’t know.

The Swords of Silence is a great read that helped me learn about a part of history I didn’t know (I am really bad at history and I was never interested in it at school, but it made me actually want expand my knowledge).
Even though the book is fiction, it describes the regime of Shogun in 1620s Japan and how terrible was the life of Christians - with torture and death waiting for them behind every corner. I always appreciate books that teach me something about our world and this one made me search more information about what was happening in Japan in XVII century.

When I read a book, I expect emotions. While reading The Swords of Silence I was full of strong, mixed emotions from interest and anger, through disbelief and disgust, to relief and happiness. I read the whole book in one go, as I couldn’t put it away!

The structure is brilliant for a reader - short chapters don’t allow you to get bored and they always keep your attention where the author wants it. You sit on a pillow full of needles and you just want to know what will happen next.

The characters are really interesting - Shogun, full of rage and hatred and Joaquim, full of compassion and love. How both of them live their lives, approach challenges and what results they get. I think that on the pages you can find many valuable lessons for your own life.

In general, I don’t like books that focus on religion, as I’m probably the most athiest person that you might know, but in the case of Swords of Silence, I really didn’t mind! The religion is important for the historical context but it doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed with something that in a real-life you consider silly.

I’m really happy that it will be a trilogy and not a stand-alone book, I am very curious of how the life of the Christians will change - both the survivors who suffered extreme treatments from Shogun and his people, and the hidden ones who I hope will raise and fight for their freedom of belief rights.

If you’re looking for a book that will raise your blood pressure, open your eyes to a horrible history and take a few hours of your evening - check The Swords of Silence!

Ivana A (Diary Of Difference)

The Swords of Silence is a great book, and I love the fact that the author captured moments in history that were true and brutal, and not many people in the world know about. However, many of the scenes in The Swords of Silence that featured escaping were unrealistic and resembled the Bible stories.

I was born and raised in a country where religion is sacred. I was surrounded with Christianity all my life. However, while I have learned lessons of love, respect and hope, I am not a believer. I do believe that we need to be kind to each other, respect each other and hope for a better tomorrow, but I don’t believe there is a God out there who decides our fate. My review is based on how I felt while reading and I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should be respected for that.

The Swords of Silence features father Joaquim, who moves to Japan in the 1620’s, to share the religion of Christ. However, the brutal regime in Japan forbids any other religion than Buddhism. The Shogun is determined there is no more Christianity in his country. Throughout the book, we follow Joaquim’s journey, where he manages to get captured and escapes several times, with the help of God.

This book perfectly captures the regime in Japan during this time.
The true terror and the brutal punishments if you ever dare make a mistake. The world of no mercy. But this book is also a product of divine inspiration and has great elements some of us consider fantasy.

Many of the scenes in The Swords of Silence that featured escaping were unrealistic and resembled the Bible stories. We had walking on water, moving of mountains and a big storm in the sea that only affects the enemy ship, even though they are only metres away from Father Joaquim’s ship.

There is one scene though, that I was absolutely in awe with, and that was the scene with the duels. As a person who trained karate all my life and is very familiar with the rules of a duel, honour, respect and combat in martial arts – this scene was perfectly set and accurate. It brought all the emotions and it was brutally realistic. 

The Swords of Silence is a great book, and I love the fact that the author captured moments in history that were true and brutal, and not many people in the world know about. A story that will make people aware of what was happening in the past. Even though I am not a believer in God, I stand by that people shouldn’t be mistreated, bullied, or in this case – brutally murdered for what they believe in. Everyone has the right to believe in anything they believe in.

If this book was more realistic with the events and scenes, I would have given it five stars for the message it shares with the world.

True fact: Around 1% of the population in Japan claims Christian belief or affiliation. Most large Christian denominations are repressed in Japan today.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780310101307
Publication date: 19th September 2019
Author: Shaun Curry
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi and Fantasy,
Categories: Historical fiction, Asian history, Ancient history: to c 500 CE, Military history, Religious & spiritual fiction, Christian life & practice,