Spirit of the Ronin (The Ronin Trilogy, Part 3)

Written by Travis Heermann
Review by Lisa Sheehan

Travis Heermann brings his Ronin Trilogy to a rousing finale in this third volume, Spirit of the Ronin, which returns readers to an energetically-reimagined version of medieval Japan and to his charismatic main character, the ronin Ken’ishi, who is now a member of the retinue of a powerful samurai, Lord Tsunetomo.

It is a comfortable posting for a freebooting swordsman, but Ken’ishi’s comfort does not last long; not only are there dangers lurking in the same retinue, but what is possibly worse, Lord Tsunetomo’s wife is Kazuko, the great love of Ken’ishi’s life. And always in the background is the threat of Khubilai Khan’s great warrior armies.

As in the previous two volumes (good as Spirit of the Ronin is, it is best to read the whole series in order), Heermann mixes all this together with a great deal of skill, giving us tense action scenes, extremely well-drawn characters, and an intelligently-handled touch of sorcery. Fantasy and action fans will be every bit as satisfied as fans of historical fiction.

E-edition reviewed