[Review] The Shogun's Daughter by Laura Joh Rowland

Title: The Shogun's Daughter: A Novel of Feudal Japan, a Sano Ichiro Novel
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Publisher: Monotaur Books published September 17, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Theme: The Shogun's daughter dies and a mystery surrounds her death.
Format: Kindle eBook
Age: Adult
Pages: 827 KB, 337 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free Kindle copy from Laura Joh Rowland and Minotaur Books, for the purpose of review.

Japan, 1704.
When the book begins Tsuruhime, the Shogun's daughter, is ill with smallpox. After her death a mystery surrounds how she was infected. Sano Ichiro has served as head of the Shogun's private chambers. Sana lives Bushido, the way of the warrior, which is a samurai code of honor. Sano is calm, level-headed, observant, wise, moral and brave. His wife Reiko is pregnant. They have an older son named Masahiro and an older daughter Akiko. Sano's enemy is Yanagisawa. Yanagisawa wants to destroy Sano, as well as control Japan. A second family in this story is Hirata a samurai warrior involved in mysticism, and his wife and children.
A power-play and murder mystery propels the story with strong characters and a thriller plot.

My Thoughts:
Wow! This is a great story.
I've read a couple of books with Japan as its background. I'd not read, till now, a book that gave me an education on Japanese history and culture before the 20th century. Until this book I knew little about a samurai, Bushido, belief in mysticism, or society and culture in Japan before the 1900s.
The shogun in this story is immoral and ignorant. He has zero backbone. He does not think, or want to think for himself and what's best, instead his focus is on his own self-gratification. This makes for a weak government. Other immoral people who seek power and influence take advantage of the situation after the death of Tsuruhime. Sano is a man of principle and integrity, he is a born leader.
After a jilting take-over of the Shogun's government officials; Sano is left shaken but does not allow it to keep him from thinking wisely.
This story is always moving, never docile and stagnant. Layers of plots and lies are dominant. Each time I thought the story was finished revealing who the perpetrator was, another was uncovered.
The evil characters are venomous snakes; the moral characters are people of strong principle and bravery.
I was unable to guess how the mysteries (plural) would be solved.    
Author Info:
Laura Joh Rowland is the author of a mystery series set in medieval Japan, featuring samurai detective Sano Ichiro.  The Shogun’s Daughter is the seventeenth book in the series.  Her work has been published in 13 foreign countries, nominated for the Anthony Award and the Hammett Prize, and won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery.  Laura lives in New York City.

For more information please visit Laura's website.  You can also follow her on Facebook.

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Link @ Amazon:
Hardcover $17.58
Kindle $10.99