Sisters of the Sword (Sisters of the Sword Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

I see you blink with surprise. A girl? you are thinking. Surely a girl cannot be asamurai. But you are wrong.

Kimi dreams of being a great samurai warrior, but she and her sister, Hana, are young ladies of ancient Japan, daughters of the Jito of the province. Her future seems clear: Girls do not become samurai.

Then, a murderous betrayal shatters the sisters' world. Suddenly, Kimi and Hana are thrown headlong into a life of warrior codes, ...

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Sisters of the Sword (Sisters of the Sword Series #1)

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Overview

I see you blink with surprise. A girl? you are thinking. Surely a girl cannot be asamurai. But you are wrong.

Kimi dreams of being a great samurai warrior, but she and her sister, Hana, are young ladies of ancient Japan, daughters of the Jito of the province. Her future seems clear: Girls do not become samurai.

Then, a murderous betrayal shatters the sisters' world. Suddenly, Kimi and Hana are thrown headlong into a life of warrior codes, deadly swords, and dangerous enemies. Life has swept them into an adventure more heart-pounding than the sisters ever could have imagined . . . and once it has been set in motion, nothing will ever be the same.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
You will enjoy this fascinating story of two sisters who disguise themselves as boys to escape being murdered by their wicked uncle. The story takes place in Kyoto, Japan, in the year 1216. Their uncle issues orders to his samurai soldiers to slaughter the entire family and household servants. The sisters escape the massacre and wander woods and small towns trying to find a safe place. They come across the samurai school where their brothers studied and decide to apply for jobs as servants. They disguise themselves as boys and hope they will not be recognized. They are pleased to be hired and try to remember how their servants performed and acted. Unfortunately, their unscrupulous cousin attends the school, which means another danger if he recognizes them. The world of a samurai is explained as it fits into the scary plot. The dangerous episodes keep the reader turning pages to find out what will happen next. Samurai soldiers are trained in physical prowess as well as methods of serenity. A wide age range of children will enjoy this exciting book. Reviewer: Jennie DeGenaro
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

As daughters of a 13th-century Japanese feudal lord, Kimi and Hana have been trained in the arts of self-defense. Though Kimi dreams of becoming a great samurai warrior, she knows it is a future she could never realistically achieve. One fateful day, her life is turned upside down. Called to their home for a visit, Kimi's uncle betrays her father, murdering him in order to seize power. The sisters escape, determined to find their mother and younger brother, and to eventually exact revenge on their callous uncle, they disguise themselves as peasant boys and travel to a samurai school run by their father's old friend, Master Goku. They gain entry as servants, but are allowed to continue their training. Filled with battles and bloodshed, this exciting story is placed against a strongly depicted historical setting evoked through everyday details and descriptions of cultural practices. Kimi and Hana are vividly drawn characters, and their emotions ring true, from their terror and shock in the aftermath of the murders to their dedication to restoring their family honor. Youngsters will stand in awe of these two talented, steadfast, and remarkably brave young women, and the cliff-hanger ending will have readers impatiently awaiting the next installment.-Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
"Blows rained on innocent heads. And blood flowed, splashing walls with gory crimson." This swashbuckling story of honor, betrayal and revenge begins violently, when, in 1216 Japan, the Jito (Lord Steward) of the Kai Province is stabbed by his own brother, a shocking murder witnessed by his teenage daughters, Kimi and Hana. The sisters escape the subsequent bloodshed, but just barely. When the two girls come upon a local dojo, or samurai training school, they disguise themselves as boys to take refuge within. This isn't a stretch: Kimi in particular has long dreamed of being a samurai, and she and Hana, like their brothers, are skilled fighters. Once the girls are safe inside the dojo, gratefully working as servants despite their noble upbringing, readers can exhale...but not for long. Vivid characters, intriguing conflicts and cliffhanger chapter endings more than compensate for the occasionally labored plot reinforcement and make for a suspenseful, satisfying read. The fact that the girls' mother and brother, would-be heir Moriyasu, remain at large lays the groundwork for a sequel. (Fiction. 12 & up)
ALA Booklist
“This rousing new series starts off with a bang, or more accurately, the silent thrust of a sword…the dangerous finale smoothly leads into the next book.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061985638
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Series: Sisters of the Sword Series
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 784,038
  • Age range: 8 - 14 Years
  • File size: 623 KB

Meet the Author

Maya Snow once had an aikido teacher who told her that the best place for a tree to hide is in the forest. Maya decided that the best place for a writer to hide is among her own words.

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Read an Excerpt

Sisters of the Sword

Chapter One

Dog

Charley is halfway across the dam, sweat dripping down her back under her T-shirt, when her father drives past her on his way back to work. She doesn't look at him. As slowly as he is driving, the car still kicks up gray-white dust from the gravel road. She walks through the dust, as straight and tall as she can make herself, jamming her walking stick into the stones as she goes, trying not to limp. She is walking. It is what he wants, and she is doing it. But if he's so interested in the best thing for her, why can't he let her decide what that is?

"I won't have you sitting in that chair all summer!" he yelled when she refused to come sit with him and eat the lunch Sarita had to scramble to fix when he showed up suddenly, unexpectedly, in the middle of the workday.

"Summer hasn't even started yet," she yelled back.

"It's the last day of school—for kids who are in school," he said.

You'd think it was her fault that she isn't in school, finishing the sixth grade with everybody else!

"You only have ten weeks to build up your strength and be ready when school starts again. You are to get outside today. It's time, Charlene! Your physical therapist says you're healing well and a little exercise is all you need to get back to normal. You will start by walking. Today. Is that clear?" He was using his I-am-the-boss voice that keeps a factory full of workers in line.

She lowered the footrest of the recliner chair, picked up her walking stick from the floor, and got to her feet as gracefully as she could. Without a word she went down the hall to herroom and put on her sneakers. Then, pounding the stick on the floor as she went, she walked straight through the living room and the dining room, out the sliding glass door, and down the ramp he had had built over the stairs her second week in the hospital.

Her father was at the breakfast table in the lake room when she left, waving his fork in the air as he talked into his cell phone. He might have taken time to come home for lunch, but he hadn't really left his work, Charley thinks as his car moves up the hill on the other side of the dam and disappears around the curve. It's what her father does—work. Normal for him means his eighty-hour workweek.

By the time the dust from his car settles, Charley has reached the end of the dam, where there is a bench under a willow tree by the water. She could sit there in the shade awhile, looking at Eagle Lake, its ripples glittering in the sun. She could rest her leg and then go home again. But she keeps walking, up the slope of the road.

She can walk all right. She is done with the wheelchair. Done with crutches. The "miracle" of the rod the doctors stuck into the bone in her right leg from her hip to her knee means she has never had to wear a cast. By now all there is to show for what happened to her is the scar down her leg where they put the rod in. And the walking stick she made so she wouldn't have to use the stupid old-lady-looking cane Tony, her physical terrorist, tried to give her after the crutches.

Her father wants her back to normal. Normal. What is that? Is that what her life was the first week in March? Before her friend Amy's brother Travis gave them a ride home from school that rainy Monday afternoon? Before he got to showing off and playing NASCAR driver? Before what the papers called a "one-car accident" that was really one car and one tree? She can't remember the accident that put her in the hospital and ended the school year for her. She can't even remember the first few days after it. The doctors say, because of the concussion, she probably never will.

If there is one thing she's learned for sure in her twelve years of life, it is that you can't go back to the way things used to be. No matter how much you want to. You can't go back. Somehow or other, you have to keep going forward. It's just that she hasn't figured out yet how to do that.

Whether she spends the whole summer in the recliner chair or out here walking the hot, dusty road around Eagle Lake, it can't be like the last two summers. This summer can't be Charley and Amy at Amy's house swimming in Amy's pool, playing tennis, going to movies, hanging out at the mall, spending whole days at a time at Carrowinds amusement park with Amy's family. Because this summer Travis is working to pay his father back for the car he wrecked. And Amy . . . Amy . . .

Charley stabs her walking stick into the gravel, and a little puff of dust rises into the air.

She has reached the split where the gravel road that is Eagle Lake Drive goes straight ahead, past the caretaker's house and out to the paved county road, and also right, through the woods toward the south side of the lake. She turns right and keeps walking. Where the road splits again—right to the four houses closest to the dam and left to the rest of the houses on the south side of the lake—she goes left. Trees nearly meet over her head—thick woods on one side, woods with houses on the other.

She goes on stabbing her walking stick into the gravel, goes on making the little puffs of dust. Amy, her best friend since second grade, is going off to spend the whole summer at Lake George in upstate New York with Becky Sue Lindner. Charley still can't quite believe it. If it was Amy who'd been smashed up in a car accident, if it was Charley whose brother caused that accident, and if Amy was supposed to be getting out and starting to do stuff to get her strength back, Charley would be right there doing stuff with her. That's what best friends are for.

Sisters of the Sword. Copyright © by Maya Snow. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    AWSOME!!!

    I loved this book it was sooooo great! I loved it I bought it and finished it in 3 days it was great Kimi and Hana are very awsome characters I just hated the cliff hanger ending, I loved it and would reccomened it to any one. :)

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2012

    Exceptional! This book collection is very interesting. It is ful

    Exceptional!
    This book collection is very interesting. It is full of adventure and culture. Nothing like this collection reflects Japanese Culture.
    Maya Snow is an extremely precise and is very expertise.
    I recommend it for every one!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com

    Kimi and her sister, Hana, live a life of luxury as daughters of the Jito, a samurai lord and leader of a strong province in 13th-Century Japan. They do not lead idle lives, however; their father understands the importance of a broad education, and in addition to learning the womanly arts of embroidery and tea-pouring, they are trained in the ways of combat, leading Kimi, the narrator, to wish fervently that she could one day be a samurai, like her father and two older brothers. <BR/><BR/>Unfortunately, disaster strikes in the form of Kimi and Hana's uncle, Hidehiro. Their father's younger brother, annoyed at their father's growing power, plots to kill their father and wipe out their branch of the family so that he can rule. Kimi, Hana, their mother, and younger brother manage to escape, but their older brothers and their father are brutally slaughtered by Hidehiro. <BR/><BR/>Separated from their mother and brother, Kimi and Hana disguise themselves as boys and present themselves to a local dojo, where they are taken on as servants by the wise Sensei Goku, who promises to teach them further fighting skills if they comport themselves well. While at the dojo they meet with a boy of peasant background, Tatsuya, who is ridiculed for his low status since most of those training under Goku are nobles. Kimi and Hana's cousin, Ken-ichi, plays the role of small-scale antagonist; although he does not realize his cousins are actually alive and right under his nose, he makes their life difficult. <BR/><BR/>Kimi and Hana must maintain their disguise while learning the skills of the samurai so they can face their uncle Hidehiro in combat and revenge their father's death once and for all.<BR/><BR/>I enjoyed the characters, and got a good picture of the relationship between the sisters. The secondary characters, such as Tatsuya and Goku, were well-drawn. An obvious deal of research went into recreating Japanese life in this time period, but the author presents this detail without confusing the reader. The conclusion of the book was satisfying, but leaves room for a sequel that I, for one, would be excited to see.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I usually dislike historical fiction, but this book was so f





    I usually dislike historical fiction, but this book was so full of action that I didn't care. Sisters of the Sword is a must-read for any book lover!

    I really loved the antagonist, Kimi and Hana's uncle. Or rather, I was enthralled with his evilness, if that's even a word. When you start reading the book, he sounds like the perfect relative; the one that you always knew would get the best Christmas presents, who you could always confide in. But, as the summary states, he ends up betraying his brother in the worst way possible. I went in this book not reading the summary, and I was so surprised!

    The action in here appealed to the Hunger Games fan in me. Now, don't get me wrong; this book isn't at all like the Hunger Games, but when I was reading the fight scenes, there were a couple times where I was remembering Katniss talking about the careers and how they fought. I don't know if everyone would think that when reading this book, but that's how it was for me.

    Also, Kimi and Hana are girls who are truly before their time. They, as girls, are not allowed to be samurai, but that does not stop them.

    There was one thing that I was wondering about: [in the book, Kimi and Hana become servants. It seems to me like they were too good at it,considering they were the Jito's daughters. But the story was so good that I was able to suspend my disbelief while reading it. (hide spoiler)]

    In closing, it was a great book that I believe even reluctant readers could enjoy! I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    OMG!!!

    This is the BEST book of all time! I seriously couldn't put it down for one moment. I would give it gagillion stars if I could.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    YES!

    This book was awesome ! I couldn't put it down for 3 day! I'm still working on getting the second book. AWESOME!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2010

    Good Book

    I really liked the book. It was full of sword slicing action.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    ?...i thoight camp moved

    ??????

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Stormpelt

    Thx

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2010

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