Monday, April 10, 2017
Sarah L. Thomson
2016, Boyds Mills Press, an Imprint of Highlights, 270 p.
Orphan Kata lives at a training school in ancient Japan—a training school for female ninjas called “Deadly Flowers.” At the school she is one of the best (and the oldest) students still there. She is taught to be stealthy and have a high pain tolerance. When she is finally asked to complete her first mission, Kata is excited. This is what she has always dreamed of. Only, she didn’t realize that it would be to kill a 10-year-old boy. When her mission goes awry (in part due to the fact that it turns out that she does not have thirst for murder), she must take the boy she couldn’t kill and his sister on a journey to escape both the ones who hired her to kill and the mistress of the training school.
However, like all good adventure stories (and this is an adventure because—well, ninjas!) there is more to the adventure than just running away from people trying to kill them. The group also has a magical pearl that controls demons. And other demons want the pearl just as much as the people running after them. This is a great fantasy/historical/adventure mashup of a book. And I love that it is a female protagonist that has to think, act, and save the day. Seriously, this is one great adventure story. Just watch out for all those pesky (and sometimes evil) demons.