Young Samurai: The Ring of Sky

BOOK: Young Samurai: The Ring of Sky
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CHRIS BRADFORD

 

 

PUFFIN

Contents

Map: The Japans – 17th
Century

The Letter

1 Footprints

2 Stuck

3 Ninja
Breathing

4 Head in the
Sand

5
Onsen

6 Nine Hells of
Beppu

7 Tornado
Hell

8 Grief

9 The Shell
Game

10 Lookout

11
Bugyō

12 Trial

13 Cell

14 An Old
Score

15 A Final
Lesson

16 Prayer
Flags

17 Caldera

18 Naka-dake

19 Rope
Bridge

20 Collapse

21 Ox and
Cart

22 Speared

23 Shiryu

24
Ensō

25 Reverse
Grip

26 A Good
Deed

27 Hero
Worship

28 Sword Test

29 Forever
Bound

30 Okuni

31 No
Butterfly

32 Kumamoto
Castle

33 The
Innkeeper

34 The
Dohyō

35
Sumo

36 Bid for
Freedom

37 Wraith

38
Kabuki
Girl

39
Mie

40 Reunited

41 Jig

42 Ferry

43 Shimabara

44
Ronin
Recruits

45
Fumi-e

46 Lord’s
Prayer

47 Landslide

48 A Minor One

49 End of the
Road

50 Bait

51 Pinned
Down

52 Death Trap

53 Cut Off

54 Lamp Oil

55 Snatched

56 A Hand for a
Hand

57 Revenge

58 All in
Vain

59 Palanquin

60 Flag

61 Passage
Home

62 Gunpoint

63 Stake

64 The
Messenger

65 The Ring of
Sky

66
Bon
Festival

67 Lanterns

68 Farewell

69 Setting
Sail

Haiku

Notes on the
Sources

Japanese
Glossary

Acknowledgements

Chris Bradford likes to fly through the air.
He has thrown himself over Victoria Falls on a bungee cord, out of an aeroplane in New
Zealand and off a French mountain on a paraglider, but he has always managed to land
safely – something he learnt from his martial arts …

Chris joined a judo club aged seven where
his love of throwing people over his shoulder, punching the air and bowing lots started.
Since those early years, he has trained in karate, kickboxing, samurai swordsmanship and
has earned his black belt in
taijutsu
, the secret fighting art of the
ninja.

Before writing the Young Samurai series,
Chris was a professional musician and songwriter. He’s even performed to HRH Queen
Elizabeth II (but he suspects she found his band a bit noisy).

Chris lives in a village on the South Downs
with his wife, Sarah, his son, Zach, and two cats called Tigger and Rhubarb.

To discover more about Chris go to
www.youngsamurai.com

Books by Chris Bradford:

The Young Samurai series (in reading
order)

THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR

THE WAY OF THE SWORD

THE WAY OF THE DRAGON

THE RING OF EARTH

THE RING OF WATER

THE RING OF FIRE

THE RING OF WIND

THE RING OF SKY

Available as eBook

THE WAY OF FIRE

Dedicated to all Young Samurai fans,
may you
follow the Way of the Warrior in life …

PUFFIN BOOKS

 

 

Praise for the Young Samurai
series:

‘A fantastic adventure that floors the reader
on page one and keeps them there until the end. The pace is furious and the martial arts
detail authentic’

– Eoin Colfer, author of the bestselling
Artemis Fowl series

‘Fierce fiction … captivating for
young readers’

– Daily Telegraph

‘Addictive’

– Evening Standard

‘More and more absorbing … vivid and
enjoyable’

– The Times

‘Bradford comes out swinging in this
fast-paced adventure … and produces an adventure novel to rank among the
genre’s best. This book earns the literary equivalent of a black belt’

– Publishers Weekly

‘The most exciting fight sequences imaginable
on paper!’

– Booklist

Winner of Northern Ireland Book Award 2011
Shortlisted for Independent Booksellers Book Awards 2011 and 2012
Shortlisted for
Red House Children’s Book Award 2009
School Library Association’s
Riveting Read 2009

The Letter

Japan, 1614

My dearest Jess,

I hope this letter reaches you one day.
You must believe I’ve been lost at sea all these years. But you’ll be
glad to know that I am alive and in good health.

Father and I reached the Japans in
August 1611, but I am sad to tell you he was killed in an attack upon our ship, the
Alexandria. I alone survived.

For these past three years,
I’ve been living in the care of a Japanese warrior, Masamoto Takeshi, at his
samurai school in Kyoto. He has been very kind to me, but life has not been
easy.

An assassin, a ninja known as Dragon
Eye, was hired to steal our father’s rutter (you no doubt remember how
important this navigational logbook was to our father?). The ninja was
successful in his mission. However, with the help of my samurai
friends, I’ve managed to get it back.

This same ninja was the one who
murdered our father. And, while it may not bring you much comfort, I can assure you
the assassin is now dead. Justice has been delivered. But the ninja’s death
doesn’t bring back our father – I miss him so much and could do with his
guidance and protection at this time.

Japan has been split by civil war
and foreigners like myself are no longer welcome. I am a fugitive. On the run for my
life. I now journey south through this strange and exotic land to the port of
Nagasaki in the hope that I may find a ship bound for England.

The Tokaido Road upon which I
travel, however, is fraught with danger and I have many enemies on my trail. But do
not fear for my safety. Masamoto has trained me as a samurai warrior and I will
fight to return home to you.

One day I do hope I can tell you
about my adventures in person …

Until then, dear sister, may God
keep you safe.

Your brother, Jack

P.S. Since first writing this letter at the
end of spring, I’ve been kidnapped by ninja. But I discovered that they were
not the enemy I thought they were. In fact, they saved my life and taught me about
the Five Rings: the five great elements of the universe – Earth, Water, Fire, Wind
and Sky. I now know ninjutsu skills that go beyond anything I learnt as a samurai.
But, because of the circumstances of our father’s death, I still struggle to
fully embrace the Way of the Ninja …

BOOK: Young Samurai: The Ring of Sky
2.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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