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Rise of the Ninja

by Simon Higgins


An age of peace has begun in medieval Japan, but not everyone is happy about it. A powerful warlord plans to overthrow his peace-loving shogun and restore what he believes is the glory of Japan—war. And this warlord believes he has finally found the tool he needs to win, a weapon that will change warfare from man-to-man to a slaughter of his enemies. The shogun's secret service, a brotherhood of ninja spy warriors, are determined to retrieve the plans for this evil weapon. They have a secret weapon of their own—Moonshadow, a young orphan raised to be an agent of the Grey Light Order.

Simon Higgins displays his knowledge of both medieval Japan and the weapons and warfare of these ninja spies. He does such a strong job on the research that you almost don't notice the subtle weaving of magic into what the ninja does. The reader simply accepts it during the fast-paced excitement of young Moonshadow's mission. He did an especially fine job of showing the very human nature of the ninja spies. They have incredible skills, but they are completely human—given to foolish risks from pride or affection—not ghost-like mystery figures. Though I rarely care much for novels that revolve around combat, I found Moonshadow such an endearing character that I read on the edge of my seat, always rooting for his success. A fantastic series for young people who love action and adventure.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company / an imprint of Hachette Book Group
June 2010
9780316079853 / 031605531X
Tweener Fiction / Action Adventure / Ages 8-12
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The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2010
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
© 2010