David Kirk is an English teacher living and working in Sendai, Japan. He grew up in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and attended university at Royal Holloway, University of London, graduating with first class honours in Media Arts. His first novel, Child of Vengeance, was published in 2013. Visit www.davidkirkfiction.com for more information.
"'A fascinating, exciting book, beautifully observed. Kirk creates characters of great depth. An absolute gem' (Conn Iggulden) 'Mr Kirk restores my faith in historical fiction to bring lost worlds to life. Bravo! The keenest and most vivid evocation of the inner life of the East since James Clavell's Shogun' (Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire) 'A brilliant piece of historical fiction - loaded with treachery and betrayal - that pulses with life. This one is going to find an honoured place on so many a keeper shelf. It's a must-read debut from an exciting new voice' (Steve Berry, author of The Templar Legacy and The Columbus Affair)"
Kirk takes listeners to 16th-century feudal Japan in this debut, which is based on actual events in the life of legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto. Bennosuke was abandoned by his father and raised by his uncle, a monk. When he learns a shameful family secret, Bennosuke decides to abandon the contemplative life and go the way of the samurai. At 13, he kills a much older adversary and then is considered a man. After a circuitous route following many bloody battles and witnessing seppuku (death by self-inflicted disembowelment), Bennosuke prevails. Narrator Mark Bramhall's very mature voice works best for the older samurai and long text within the convoluted saga. Verdict Only those who are accustomed to very graphic-almost sickeningly so-descriptions and extreme violence should attempt this disturbing novel. ["Kirk, who teaches English in Japan, has penned an educational, engrossing, and just plain fun-to-read book. It is well written and well researched and should appeal to a wide variety of readers, especially those who loved James Clavell's Shogun," read the much more enthusiastic starred review of the Doubleday hc, LJ 2/1/13.-Ed.]-Susan Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.